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33 Brazilian tourism officials arrested for corruption

08-10-2011 10:32 BJT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thirty-three Tourism Ministry officials were arrested Tuesday on charges of embezzlement of public funds.

Among the 33 arrested, 20 were captured in Brasilia, six in Amapa state and 12 in Sao Paulo state.

The arrested included the tourism minister's Secretary-Executive Frederico Costa, the Secretary of Development of Tourism Programs Colbert Martins da Silva Filho and a former president of tourism company Embratur, Mario Moyses.

The amount of the public funds embezzled by the accused could reach 3 million reais (1.88 million U.S. dollars), according to police.

The Federal Police said they would be charged with criminal associations, fraud and embezzlement. If convicted, each of them could face up to 12 years in jail.

A total of 38 arrest warrants were issued against Tourism Ministry officials. Five officials were at large.

The Tourism Ministry is not the only one shaken by anti-corruption operations in Brazil. Officials from two other ministries had been accused of embezzling public funds since President Dilma Rousseff started an anti-corruption campaign.

Last month, Transport Minister Alfredo Nascimento and 30 agency officials resigned over corruption.

A senior official of the Agriculture Ministry has also been fired for corruption.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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