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Marcelo Crivella, an ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, was due to serve out his term in just nine days. He was arrested based on an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme within the mayor's office.
The mayor of Rio de Janeiro and evangelist pastor, Marcelo Crivella, who is accused of corruption linked to the municipal tourism company Riotur, was arrested on Tuesday in a joint police operation with the participation of the state prosecutor's office.
The arrest is based on an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme in the mayor's office of the capital city of Rio de Janeiro, of which police authorities claim he is the leader. After the arrest prosecutors filed corruption charges against Crivella and 25 others, indicating that wiretaps, seizures, witness and collaborating witness statements had revealed “a well-structured and complex criminal organization led by Crivella that had acted in city hall since 2017”.
Bolsonaro's ally and member of the Republican party had just lost re-election to his post and were only nine days away from the end of his mandate.
In addition to the mayor, businessman Rafael Alves, retired police chief Fernando Moraes, former Crivella campaign treasurer Mauro Macedo, and businessmen Adenor Gonçalves dos Santos and Cristiano Stockler Campos, from the insurance area, were also arrested.
After his arrival at the police station, Crivella expressed that he was a victim of "political persecution", in addition to arguing that his was "the government that acted most against corruption. I want justice to be done".
Crivella was being investigated for his participation in a scheme called "QG de la coima", by which companies that wanted to close contacts with the mayor's office had to pay bribes.
The investigation began in 2018, following the accusation of money changer Sergio Mizrahy, who admitted to being responsible for money laundering by what investigators call a criminal organization operating within the mayor's office.