November 8, 2018 / 2:35 PM / 13 days ago

Brazil police corruption probes target senator, Rio lawmakers

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police on Thursday launched two operations targeting state lawmakers in Rio de Janeiro and a powerful outgoing senator as part of investigations into their alleged participation in two separate corruption schemes.

In one probe, police accuse Senator Romero Jucá from the country’s north of receiving a 4 million reais ($1.07 million) bribe in 2012 to help pass legislation favorable to a construction group, a police statement and court filings said.

Jucá’s press representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Odebrecht, the sprawling construction firm embroiled in corruption scandals across Latin America, was the company that allegedly made the illegal payments. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A separate probe relates to ten lawmakers in Rio de Janeiro’s state assembly who were allegedly involved in a bribery scheme that inflated the price of federal and state contracts, according to a police statement.

The scheme was allegedly orchestrated by former Rio de Janeiro governor, Sergio Cabral, police said, adding they were serving 22 arrest warrants and performing 47 search-and-seizure operations.

($1 = 3.7305 reais)

Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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