Brazilian police said they launched a major search for evidence on Friday in a big fraud probe targeting an ex-minister of President Michel Temer.
It was the latest in a long series of investigations that threaten to destabilize the leader of Latin America’s biggest economy. He has denied wrongdoing.
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Friday’s searches targeted Geddel Vieira Lima, who served as a top adviser in Temer’s cabinet before resigning in November over allegations of influence-peddling. Police said in a statement they had evidence of corruption and money-laundering linked to loans made to big companies by a public bank that Vieira Lima formerly headed.
It said they found telephone messages exchanged between Vieira Lima and another high-profile corruption suspect, former congressional speaker Eduardo Cunha. Federal police searched properties in four Brazilian cities, it said.