The transnational investigative firm, Kroll, is being investigated by the Brazilian federal police in an operation that began back in March.
At that time, it was discovered that Kroll was spying on high-level government authorities while acting on behalf of one of the parties in a complicated dispute over control of a telecommunications services company in Brazil.
Kroll is accused of witness tampering, illegal wire taps and breaking bank secrecy norms.
Kroll denies the accusations. “Our investigations were carried out legally through the analysis of public documents, interviews and informal conversations. Kroll never infringed Brazilian legislation by using illegal wire taps or breaking electronic secrecy norms,” says a note from the firm.
”The company never used practices that break Brazilian laws, such as telephone bugging or hacking,” Kroll announced in an ad that was published on the front page of daily Folha de S. Paulo. The same ad also appeared in O Estado de S. Paulo, another daily with national circulation in Brazil.
At the moment the federal police are examining documents and equipment apprehended from Kroll’s offices around the country.
So far a total of five people have been arrested, accused of spying and organized crime activities.
Some 90 police agents, acting on 16 search warrants, have participated in the operation, which has been taking place in the cities of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.
The dispute at the origin of Kroll’s problems pitted the investment firm, Opportunity, which is run by financier Daniel Dantas, against Telecom Italia (a huge Italian multinational) in a fight for control of one of Brazil’s biggest telecommunications operators, Brasil Telecom.
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