"Operation Carwash" puts JBS shareholder behind bars
Former JBS Chairman, Joesley Batista, was arrested Friday by Brazilian Federal Police, along with Lt. Gov. Minas Gerais Antonio Andrade, former agriculture minister Neri Geller, Congressman Joao Magalhaes over a 2014-15 bribery scheme that operated within the Ministry of Agriculture, reports Food Safety News magazine.
While Batista was chairman, JBS S.A.reportedly made payments to politicians and public servants for approvals that would benefit the giant meat packing company. Brazilian media reports the four arrested Friday will be charged with forming a criminal organization for active and passive corruption, obstruction of justice and money laundering.
A total of 19 arrest warrants in five Brazilian states were executed on Friday. JBS S.A.. is the world’s second largest food company in the world and the largest protein processor. It is a processor of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and value-added and convenience food products. JBS also sells hides, toiletries, cleaning, collagen, metal packaging, biodiesel, and other products.
JBS has more than 400 production units, 230 of them strictly related to the production of meat and convenience and value-added products worldwide. It employs over 235,000 employees and capacity to process 80 thousand heads of cattle per day, more than 14 million birds per day, 115 thousand hogs per day and 100 thousand hides per day.
Since 2017 until earlier this year, Batista and his brother, Wesley, were held in prison in another case of corruption for bribing the food inspectors in the country. The previous scandal is known as "Operation Weak Flesh" and led to a ban imposed on different markets for Brazilian meat and poultry products.