Brazilian police investigating the giant Petrobras
Brasília - AFP
Brazilian police investigating the giant Petrobras corruption scandal raided politicians, including former president Fernando Collor de Mello, in dozens of search and seizure operations Tuesday, prosecutors and local media said.
The raids, aimed at securing evidence before it could be destroyed or tampered with, took place across seven states in the latest expansion of a kickbacks and bribes probe centered on the state oil company.
They were ordered by the Supreme Court, the only body authorized to prosecute current politicians.
There was no immediate official information on the identities of the politicians whose homes and offices were targeted.
Collor de Melo, who resigned in 1992 after being accused of corruption and is now a senator, confirmed on Twitter that police had searched his house, denouncing what he called "a climate of terror."
Others reported by local media to have been suspects included Senator Ciro Nogueira and congressional Deputy Eduardo da Fonte, both from President Dilma Rousseff's Worker's Party.
The probe, codenamed Operation Car Wash, has shaken Brazil's biggest company and the political standing of Rousseff. She has not been directly implicated, but was chairwoman of the company for seven years coinciding largely with the period of corruption, and is facing opposition threats of impeachment.