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Brazil police raid billionaire’s home, sources say

Brazilian federal police have raided the home of billionaire Joesley Batista, who surrendered to authorities the previous day after losing immunity from prosecution amid a corruption scandal, two people familiar with the situation said on Monday.

Federal Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin gave the nod to the raids, which included the São Paulo headquarters of J&F Investimentos SA, the police said in a statement. J&F is the company through which Batista and his older brother Wesley control JBS SA, the world’s No. 1 meatpacker.

Another raid was conducted at the Rio de Janeiro home of Marcelo Miller, a former federal prosecutor who allegedly helped Batista craft a May plea bargain deal, said the sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The scandal has shocked Brazil’s business and political establishment on top of an ongoing three-year corruption probe. The brothers confessed to bribing scores of politicians in their May plea bargain testimony, allowing them to avoid prosecution.

Among the evidence they provided to prosecutors was a recording of Brazilian President Michel Temer allegedly endorsing hush payments to a possible witness in a graft probe. Temer has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Representatives for J&F and Miller declined to confirm the raids. A lawyer for Batista did not take calls seeking comment.

(Reuters)

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