The police action against meat-fraudsters started on the third anniversary of Operation Car Wash the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the country. It started with corruption in state oil company Petrobras. The political crisis where the corruption investigation led to, still continues: this week asked the public prosecutor to the Supreme Court may examine dozens of politicians for new suspicions of fraud.
Hundreds of agents of the Brazilian federal police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS SA and BRF SA on Friday, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, in a crackdown on alleged bribery of health officials that could threaten $12 billion in annual exports.
Operation The Weak Flesh is the latest offensive of justice against corruption and fraud. This time the target is the meat industry, one of the most important sectors of the Brazilian economy. When Operation Weak Flesh was launched, the shares of meat giants such as JBS and BRF plunged this morning. The probe, known as “Operation Weak Flesh,” found evidence of meatpackers bribing inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and shipping exports with traces of salmonella, police said. At least 38 people were arrested, including at least one employee of JBS, the world’s largest meat processor also known in Italy for having acquired the sausage factory Rigamonti (2011), and Directors of BRF, also one of the largest meat companies in the world. They would have bribed parties approve rotten meat and selling by inspectors of the Ministry of Agriculture on a large scale. Brazilian meat is also an important export product. Huge quantities of chicken, beef and pork are exported, mainly to China and the European Union. In order to mask the smell of the meat in a few cases chemical products was added. Part of the bribe would have ended up with political parties, including the PMDB President Temer.
Worldwide according to some media reports, including ‘Folha de S.Paulo’, wiretaps revealed that at least four containers belonging to the Brazilian food giant, BRF would have been locked in an unnamed “Italian port” because in them were found “evidence of salmonella.” Italian intelligence sources, questioned on the matter, however, say they are not aware of the arrival rotten meat in an Italian port. Also revealed when wiretapping is that directors were planning to bypass the Italian harbor for dropping the rotten meat and ship it within the EU via Rotterdam. It is unclear whether there ultimately bad meat has entered the European market. However, it seems certain that fraud-flesh landed on the Brazilian market. That makes a big impression in Brazil, where large quantities of meat are consumed. Barbecue with friends at the weekends is pretty much a national pastime.