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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian federal police on Wednesday advanced a probe into alleged inspection bribes involving officials from the Agriculture Ministry, meatpackers and dairy companies in northern and northeastern Brazil.

In a statement, police said they were serving 11 arrest warrants, 28 search-and-seizure warrants and bringing in 12 people for questioning as part of the probe.

The statement did not disclose the names of any of the people involved.

The probe is one in a series of corruption scandals in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, ensnaring major companies from meatpackers and engineering firms to oil producers, as well as several high ranking politicians.

Police unveiled the investigation in May, citing meatpacker Minerva SA as one of the companies targeted. Calls to media representatives for Minerva went unanswered.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Reuters