A former executive of Brazilian meat giant JBS is once again in the spotlight having reportedly been arrested on allegations of illegal political funding.

Joesley Batista, who was formerly the chairman of JBS before he stepped down in 2017 over corruption allegations but is still a major shareholder, was arrested by federal police on Friday (9 November), according to Reuters. The news agency cited Batista’s lawyer as saying his arrest was in connection with an on-going police inquiry into illegal campaign contributions. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Lawyer André Callegari told Reuters that Batista’s arrest was only expected to be temporary, but declined to elaborate on the arrest order or the investigation. 

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports, citing a statement from the country’s tax office, that Brazilian police were serving 18 arrest warrants and another 56 search and seizures on an illegal campaign financing scheme and corruption of high-ranking members of the Agriculture Ministry between 2014 and 2015. 

The probe is centred in Minas Gerais state, but warrants are also being carried out in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraiba and Mato Grosso states, Bloomberg said. 

just-food has contacted the tax agency to confirm the report.

Joesley and his brother Wesley Batista, the former chief executive of JBS, were charged last year with insider trading related to the use of privileged information to profit from the company’s shares. Jose Batista Sobrinho, the firm’s founder, later took over the CEO role from his son, Wesley. 

Joesley is part of the Batista family that controls J&F Investimentos, the largest shareholder in JBS. 

JBS, along with fellow meat company BRF, were also among Brazilian companies implicated in a corruption scandal last year related to alleged bribes of government officials, a case that became known as the Carne Fraca, or ‘Weak-Flesh’ probe.