Head of Brazilian state nuclear company arrested

Rio de Janeiro, July 29 (IANS) The Brazilian police arrested the president of state nuclear company Eletronuclear, as part of an investigation linked to a sprawling inquiry into corrupt dealings at state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva was arrested on Tuesday as part of “Radioactivity”, an operation to combat suspected irregularities such as bribery and fraudulent bidding concerning construction contracts at the Angra 3 nuclear plant, Xinhua news agency reported.

The operation involved 180 police offers who searched 23 residences and offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Niteroi and Barueri.

The construction of Angra 3 nuclear plant with a planned capacity of 1,405 MW began three years ago in Angra dos Reis, a city in Rio de Janeiro state. Its budget has soared to 14 billion reais ($4.1 billion).

Dalton Avancini, ex-president of construction company Camargo Correa, said that contracts for work at Angra 3 were given to companies that paid bribes to leaders of Eletrobras, the parent company of Eletronuclear, and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, a main ally of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Eletrobras charged as bribes 1 percent of the value of each contract awarded to construction companies, including Camargo Correa.

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