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Missing Brazilian millions found in Swiss bank

Swiss justice to help in Brazilan corruption scandal swissinfo.ch

Geneva justice officials have opened an enquiry into the bank account of a Brazilian citizen at the centre of a corruption scandal which has rocked Brazil.

This content was published on July 20, 2000 - 08:34

The federal police office in Berne confirmed to swissinfo on Wednesday that they had received a judicial request from the Brazilian authorities in January to look into the transactions on an account at the Santander bank in Geneva, which contains approximately $6.8 million(SFr11 million).

The money is believed to be part of around 80 million dollars set aside for the construction of a new industrial tribunal building in the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo. Most of the money for the planned project has gone missing.

Another $37.4 million has been traced to accounts in Paraguay and Panama.

At the centre of the affair is Nicolau dos Santos Neto, an ex-judge and president of the industrial tribunal, who has not been seen since April. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The case has had political repercussions in Brazil, where a parliamentary commission has been set up to look into the affair and a federal police investigation is underway.

It could also lead to problems for the president, Enrique Cardoso, after his ex-secretary from 1995-1998, and long-ime personal friend, Eduardo Jorge Caldas, was implicated in the case.

by Claudinè Goncalves

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