Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Luis Inacio da Silva, former president of Brazil, has been detained by the Brazilian federal police and is being held for questioning related to a wide-spread corruption scandal in Brazil involving the country’s largest oil and gas company Petrobras.

The Brazilian federal police on Friday initiated another phase of its anti-corruption operation known as the Operation Car Wash – which started in 2014 – continuing investigation of crimes of corruption and money laundering , among others, practiced by multiple people in the context of the criminal scheme related to Petrobras.

According to a statement on the Brazilian Federal Police website, 200 policemen have been sent out today with 44 court orders, 33 search warrants, and eleven detention warrants, one of which is for the former president Lula, who was the president of Brazil from January 1, 2003 to January 1, 2011.

BBC has cited a police statement according to which there is evidence that Lula, 70, detained on Friday, received illicit benefits from the kickback scheme.

The police has named this, 24th phase of the Operation Car Wash, the Operation Aletheia – in reference to a Greek expression that means seeking the truth.

Responding to Lula’s detainment, his Lula Institute issued a statement describing the move as “violent, unfair, unjustifiable, arbitrary and illegal.”

The institute further said that Lula never received illicit benefits “before, during or after ruling the country,” and that he was never involved “directly or indirectly in any illegality, whether the one investigated under the Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash), or any other.”

“The only result of the violence unleashed today by the Task Force is to submit the former president to a public embarrassment,” the institute said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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