- Finance Minister Meirelles was chairman of JBS holding company
- Police search focused on Eldorado Brasil Celulose: spokesman
Brazilian police searched the offices of JBS SA, the world’s biggest producer of beef and chicken, as part of a corruption probe that has shaken Latin America’s largest country.
Federal police officers were seen at the headquarters JBS in Sao Paulo, local media reported. A company spokesman confirmed the search but said that JBS itself wasn’t the target of the operation and that no arrest warrants were issued for its executives. Instead, police was seeking documents related to Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA, part of the J&F conglomerate that also controls JBS, he said.
A press officer for Eldorado wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Brazil’s federal police hasn’t provided details about the operation yet. The two-year probe known as Carwash, initially focused on state-run oil producer Petrobras, has ensnared some of Brazil’s biggest corporate conglomerates and top politicians.
Brazil’s Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles was the chairman of J&F Investimentos before joining the government of Acting President Michel Temer. JBS announced in May plans to issue shares in the U.S. and turn its Brazilian operation into a subsidiary. It overtook rival Tyson Foods Inc. as the world’s biggest poultry producer in 2014 after a decade-long, $20 billion acquisition spree that was supported by Brazil’s national development bank. The state-owned lender known as BNDES holds a 24 percent stake in the company.