Brazil’s Federal Police kicked off, today, July 18, an operation called Fox (in English) to break up a gang that defrauded public tenders diverting resources earmarked for health and education.
According to the Brazilian authorities, the gang was comprised by business men and civil servants. Thirty two people have already been arrested.
The investigations started in 2004 with the help of the Federal Public Defense Ministry in Sergipe. The Federal Police found out that resources for the Maintenance and Development Fund of Basic Schooling (Fundef) had been diverted.
The Fundef earmarks resources for teachers and at the same time makes sure the resources are applied fairly throughout the system. In the health area, according to the police, basic pharmacy and the fight againt endemic diseases were some of the program harmed by the gang.
The police are serving warrants of arrest as well as search and seizing warrants in nine municipalities in the northeastern state of Sergipe, two municipalities in Alagoas and one in Bahia. The operation counts on 350 federal policemen, 30 Federal Revenue auditing inspectors and 16 employees from the federal General Accounting Office.
Among the crimes being investigated are gang formation, falsification of documents, active and passive corruption, embezzlement, crimes against bidding laws, tax evasion and money laundering.