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Supreme Court Removes Minister of Labor after Federal Police Detected Evidence of Involvement in a Scheme of Fraud

07/06/2018 - 12h29

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FÁBIO FABRINI
REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
BRASÍLIA

The Minister of Labor, Helton Yomura, was removed from his post by the Federal Supreme Court this Thursday (July 5) after Federal Police detected evidence of involvement in a scheme of fraud and corruption to grant union registrations.

Yomura has resigned. Eliseu Padilha, Head of the Cabinet, will take over the Ministry.

The case is being investigated in "Operation Spurious Record." As Folha has learned, the investigation has raised suspicions regarding the Minister of the Government Secretariat, Carlos Marun (MDB-MS), a political point man for Temer.

Messages from seized cell phones have shown that he "takes advantage of his political power to request the granting of registrations for institutions of his choosing," via manipulation of the application process.

Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
The Minister of Labor, Helton Yomura
The Former Minister of Labor, Helton Yomura

The Federal Police requested authorization for search warrants at the addresses of Marun and his chief of staff, Vivianne de Melo, but the Office of the Public Prosecutor found there was no evidence that they comprise a "criminal organization."

The Federal Police executed ten search warrants in Rio and Brasília. Federal Deputy Nelson Marquezelli (PTB-SP), who is also suspected of involvement in manipulating application processes, has been banned from the ministry, and forbidden to contact officials or the parties under investigation.

Yomura's chief of staff, Júlio de Souza Bernardes; the Ministry superintendent in Rio, Adriano José Lima Bernardo; and an advisor to Marquezelli, Jonas Antunes Lima, have been placed under temporary arrest. R$ 95,000 (US$ 24,000) was seized at the home of the latter.

Yomura was summoned to testify, but he remained silent, and did not provide the password to his cell phone.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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