A councilor from São José da Lapa, in Greater BH, a lawyer from Piedade de Caratinga, in Vale do Rio Doce, and a military police officer from Bahia were arrested this Wednesday (8) in a operation by the Civil Police of Minas Gerais (PCMG) that investigates fraud in public tenders. In addition to the arrest warrants, 18 search and seizure were completed.
According to PCMG, the company organizing the competitions, based in Bahia, is suspected of facilitating the approval of candidates nominated by public authorities. In return, people paid the value of their first salary.
The investigations began in June this year, when the police received information that a competition in the municipality of Piedade de Caratinga, carried out by the Institute of Education and Public Health (Iesp), would be rigged. The police contacted the city hall and informed them that they would inspect the evidence and digitize the templates.
“Normally, these frauds in public exams happen by changing the answer sheet: the person goes to take the test and marks any answer, knowing that, later, the panel will change the answer sheet so that they are approved. […] They changed the fraud when they found out that we were going to be present, and the candidates received the test and answer sheet in advance of the competition day”, explained the regional delegate of Caratinga, Ivan Sales.
In the first phase of the investigation, the police discovered candidates who got the same grade getting the same question wrongin the Piedade de Caratinga competition.
However, PCMG believes in possibility of fraud in competitions also held in other municipalities in Minas Gerais.
“The investigation progressed and took on a much greater proportion. […] We realize that this institute held several competitions in Minas Gerais in a short space of time, which points to signs that there may have been fraud”, said the delegate.
According to the Civil Police, a Belo Horizonte lawyersubject of a search and seizure warrant, is suspected of “enlisting municipalities” for fraud.
O President of the Municipal Council of São José da Lapa, councilor Kleyton Carlos dos Santos (Podemos)who was arrested, is suspected of build a “bridge” between Iesp and municipalities. At his house, they were seized R$ 10 thousand in kind.
O military police officer of Bahiaarrested in Pernambuco, is suspected of going to mining towns to hold meetings about fraud.
O Piedade de Caratinga lawyerwho is a former city attorney, would be responsible for taking care of the organization of the scheme in the region.
O president of Iesp was also the target of an arrest warrant, but has not been located and is at large.
The Civil Police still suspect that the Mayor of Piedade de Caratinga, Adolfo Bento (DEM)is involved in the scheme. He was also the subject of a search and seizure warrant..
“In Piedade de Caratinga, we have people who say they paid the mayor, and the amount paid was equivalent to the first salary [do cargo público]”, said the delegate.
The warrants were served in Caruaru (PE), Brejo da Madre de Deus (PE), Feira de Santana (BA), Serrinha (BA), Caratinga (MG), Piedade de Caratinga (MG), São José da Lapa (MG) and Belo Horizonte (MG).
O g1 contacted the Piedade de Caratinga City Hallas Iesp and with the advice of the councilor Kleyton Carlos dos Santosfrom São José da Lapa, but did not receive a response until the last update of this report.
In a note, the São José da Lapa City Council stated that “under no management did it sign any type of contract with the company under investigation” and that it “is available for all necessary clarifications”.