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Ex-billionaire Eike Batista arrested in Rio in Petrobras scandal

Staff Writer |
Former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista turned himself in to police in Rio de Janeiro on charges related to the Petrobras corruption scandal.

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He was detained shortly after arriving from New York. Batista's lawyers have urged judicial authorities to move Batista away from the general prison population out of fear for his safety, Folha reported.

Brazilian law mandates that people who are jailed have the right to be separated into a solitary cell if their lives are threatened.

Brazilian Federal Police attempted to arrest Batista at his home in an upscale Rio de Janeiro neighborhood last Thursday, but Batista's lawyers said the former billionaire was traveling.

Police said Batista and the other suspects - identified as "large business owners" - are accused of laundering about $100 million, most of which has already been repatriated to Brazil.

The suspects are accused of active corruption, passive corruption, criminal organization and money laundering.

Batista's $35 billion fortune plummeted after Brazil's economy crashed starting in 2014, which led to the collapse of his Grupo EBX conglomerate.

Brazilian federal police last Thursday arrested a Flamengo soccer club executive who was once the right-hand man of Eike Batista, a businessman and former billionaire who is being sought by police for alleged bribery.

Batista allegedly paid a $16.5 million bribe to ex-Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral, jailed since November for embezzlement, federal police and prosecutors said at a press conference.

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