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JBS's Batista Turns Himself Into Police
USAgNet - 09/12/2017

Joesley Batista, the Brazilian tycoon who turned JBS SA into a global meat powerhouse, has handed himself into police, the latest chapter of a scandal that has tipped Brazil back into political chaos and left his family's business empire reeling.

Batista, 45, went into police custody in Sao Paulo on Sunday afternoon following a Supreme Court order for his arrest. J&F Investimentos SA, the holding company that controls JBS, confirmed that J&F executive Ricardo Saud also turned himself in. Earlier, Judge Edson Fachin issued arrest warrants and the temporary suspension of the immunity granted in a plea-bargain agreement signed by the businessmen with Brazilian authorities in May.

According to Bloomberg News, Batista's detention is another dramatic twist in a saga that has gripped Brazil and raised doubts about the future of his family's business empire. The May plea deal followed Batista's testimony to the authorities that he was was complicit in a widespread and sustained scheme to bribe politicians. The revelations caused public outrage but at the time appeared to spare Batista the threat of jail.

On Monday, Federal Police carried out search and seizure warrants in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo at addresses linked to Batista, JBS and former prosecutor Marcello Miller, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported. Police confirmed via text message that an operation tied to the J&F executives' plea deal was in progress, without giving further details.

The court decision to arrest Batista followed a request by Rodrigo Janot, the country's chief prosecutor, who said Batista and Saud omitted information from testimony submitted to prosecutors earlier this year in which they confessed to graft and other crimes. According to the judge, if the two executives remained at liberty, they would continue to see advantages in concealing evidence.

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