The Federal Police (PF) carried out 16 search and seizure warrants, this Tuesday morning (12), as part of Operation Perfidia, which investigates an alleged fraud scheme in the purchase of security equipment, during the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro in 2018. The warrants were served in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and the Federal District.
The targets are being investigated for the crimes of sponsorship of improper hiring, illegal dismissal from bidding, active and passive corruption and criminal organization, which were allegedly committed during the contracting of 9,360 ballistic vests from the American company CTU Security LLC.
One of those being investigated is General Walter Braga Netto, then federal interventionist in Rio de Janeiro, as Brasil de Fato had already stated in July 2021. Despite not being one of the targets of this Tuesday’s PF operation, General his telephone confidentiality was broken due to suspected irregularities in a R$40 million contract signed by him.
The exemption from bidding for purchases from the Intervention Office was precisely a request by Braga Netto, made in May 2018, to the Federal Audit Court (TCU). The agency gave authorization, in June of that year, for purchases without bidding.
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The investigation into possible irregularities began in the USA, with the Homeland Security Investigations Agency (HSI), which pointed to the overpricing of ballistic vests in contracts established with the Federal Intervention Office.
HSI came to the evidence during the United States investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, in July 2021, whose logistics were reportedly provided by the company CTU Security LLC.
In this context, HSI initiated an investigation into CTU’s connections and contracts and identified the supply of vests to the Federal Intervention Office. On February 9, 2022, the HSI team at the United States Embassy sent an email to the General Coordination for the Repression of Corruption, Financial Crime and Money Laundering of the Directorate for Investigation and Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Federal Police, located in Brasília.
According to the PF, the contract was signed after the exemption from bidding published in the Official Gazette of the Union, on December 31, 2018, in the amount of US$ 9,451,605.60 (global value of R$ 40,169,320.80 exchange rate at the time).
In the first month of the Bolsonaro government, in January 2019, the Executive paid R$35,944,456.10 to the company. In September of the same year, however, payment was canceled and the contract suspended. Of the approximately R$40 million, approximately R$4.6 million would have been predicted as overpricing.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho