Brazilian police have arrested the ruling party’s leader in the senate and the head of Latin America’s biggest independent investment bank as part of a corruption investigation.
Banker André Esteves, the billionaire CEO and controlling shareholder of BTG Pactual SA, was arrested at his home in Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile in Brasilia, police arrested a ruling Workers’ party senator, Delcídio do Amaral, 60, a veteran lawmaker who runs the senate’s economic affairs committee and has been key to Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to impose austerity measures.
Brazil’s currency fell more than 2% on Wednesday as the corruption scandal centred on state-run oil firm Petrobras threatened Rousseff’s fragile coalition in Congress.
Amaral is among 50 Brazilian politicians under investigation for allegedly taking bribes in the kickback scandal. His arrest caused national shock – it is the first ever for a sitting senator in the country.