RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Federal police on Thursday arrested Brazilian businessman Eike Batista, once the holder of the country’s biggest fortune, on suspicion of market manipulation and money laundering.
This is the second time that authorities have arrested Batista, a former oil and mining magnate who in 2011 was listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s eighth-richest person. He is currently serving a 30-year sentence under house arrest.
Batista was arrested at his Rio de Janeiro home on a five-day warrant that could be extended for another five-day period.
Federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro said the arrest was based on several testimonies that indicate Batista had a prominent role in market manipulation and money laundering that involved countries such as the United States, Canada, Panama, Ireland and the Bahamas.
Some of the earnings from the scheme were used to pay kickbacks to government officials in Brazil to ensure big government contracts, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said they are investigating money transactions of around 800 million reals (about $203 million).
Batista was convicted of corruption and money laundering in a separate case last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was found guilty of paying around $16.5 million in bribes to the Rio de Janeiro governor to gain an advantage in government contracts.
The arrest is an offshoot of Brazil’s huge anti-graft investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash.”