Eike Batista, Once Brazil’s Wealthiest Man, Is Now an International Fugitive

Brazilian businessman Eike Batista was put on Interpol’s list of wanted people. After the businessman could not be located on Thursday, January 26, the Federal Police (PF) asked Judge Marcelo Bretas, of the Federal Criminal Court in Rio – who had granted Batista’s arrest warrant – to make a formal request to include his name on the list of international fugitives.

The businessman can now be arrested abroad, be extradited, and has become an international fugitive.

The Brazilian court’s request was made even after Eike Batista’s lawyer, Fernando Martins, said that the businessman intends to turn himself in as soon as possible. The lawyer reported that the businessman is in New York, attending business meetings.

Eike Batista was put on Interpol’s Red Notice, which seeks the location of people involved in crimes of pedophilia, money laundering, and terrorism.

Investigations indicate that Batista and businessman Flávio Godinho, his right-hand man in the EBX group, allegedly paid US$ 16.5 million to former Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral apparently to gain advantage in landing government contracts.

They used a bank account abroad to make the transactions. Batista, Godinho and Cabral are also suspected of obstructing investigations.

Federal Chief of Police Tacio Muzzi, one of the coordinators of Operation Efficiency – a spinoff of Operation Car Wash – said in a news conference that they cannot affirm whether Batista went to the United States with the intention to run away and said they expect him to turn himself in soon.

Federal Police is also investigating whether Batista flew to New York on Tuesday, January 24, carrying a German passport, since the court had already issued his arrest warrant, dated January 13. Batista has dual citizenship.

In the same news conference, prosecutor Leonardo Freitas said that the transactions conducted by former governor Sérgio Cabral in illegal accounts abroad can reach US$ 100 million, but figures could be even higher because, according to him, “the wealth of the members of the criminal organization led by Sérgio Cabral is an ocean not yet completely mapped.”

Operation Efficiency was based on testimonies of Renato Hasson Chebar and Marcelo Hasson Chebar, who are brothers working in the financial market. They decided to spontaneously collaborate with the operation’s task force and admitted they were involved in the transfer of US$ 100 million from the former governor to tax havens and took part in the US$ 16.5 million paid by Eike Batista on bribes.

According to investigations, the brothers used at least nine accounts abroad to divide the money sent by Cabral. One of them, on former governor’s behalf, was named Efficiency, which ended up giving its name to the police operation.

At the arrest warrant, Judge Marcelo Bretas informed that part of the US$ 100 million sent to other countries by Sérgio Cabral’s order were put into the court’s bank account, after being repatriated due to plea bargain deals approved by the court.

ABr

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