Portugal makes arrest in major Brazilian corruption probe

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese police arrested a suspect and carried out searches in Lisbon on Monday in connection with a major corruption investigation in Brazil that's ensnared senior politicians.

Brazilian police named the suspect as Raul Schmidt Felipe Junior and said he was arrested at his home in the Portuguese capital. The Portuguese attorney general's office said in a statement that the arrest was requested by Brazilian authorities as part of Operation Car Wash, which is investigating a massive kickback scheme.

No details of the investigation into Felipe Junior, who is not a well-known figure in Brazil, were provided but the website of Brazil's leading O Globo news network said he is suspected of being a go-between for illicit payments.

Felipe Junior is said to have joint Portuguese and Brazilian nationality. Brazil intends to request his extradition, according to the Portuguese attorney general's office.

Portuguese authorities also said Brazilian prosecutors assisted with the police operation, and that Portuguese police are working on further Brazilian cooperation requests.

Felipe Junior was the first Operation Car Wash suspect to be arrested outside Brazil.

Police have been extending the investigation's scope beyond Brazil's borders in recent times.

Investigators have also been scrutinizing Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, according to an internal document obtained in February by The Associated Press. They suspect Humala received $3 million in bribes from the large Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in exchange for contracts in Peru.