MAC: Mines and Communities

Eike Batista detained by federal police in Rio de Janeiro

Published by MAC on 2017-02-06
Source: Reuters, CNBC (2017-02-19)

Will the Brazilian mining king finally be stripped bare?

Eike Batista, once Brazil's richest man, was detained by federal police in Rio de Janeiro, in connection with charges including an alleged $16 million bribe to a former governor, Globo news television reported.

Batista, a brash entrepreneur who became the face of Brazil's now-fizzled commodities boom, had been sought since last week by Brazilian police, who raided his Rio mansion and confiscated his luxury cars as part of their bribery investigation.

Batista enjoyed some notoriety because of his all-too-public “private” life. He posed nude for several men’s magazines and has been exposed on the front cover of Brazilian Playboy no fewer than five times in recent years.

His net wealth in 2008 of US$ 7.5 billion doubtless helped bolster his image further - despite his being raided by police in July 2009 on suspicion of fraud over a railway contract, and tax evasion at a gold mine.

That year, Batista sold some iron ore projects to Anglo American, through what was then his main mining asset, MMX, thus gaining himself US$5.5 billion.

By 2011, he was said to be "the world of mining's richest man". See: http://moneytometal.org/index.php/EBX_Group

Brazilian billionaire held on graft charges: Report

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/brazilian-billionaire-held-graft-charges-152000688.html

30 January 2017

Eike Batista, once Brazil's richest man, flew into Rio de Janeiro on Monday and was detained by federal police in connection with charges including an alleged $16 million bribe to a former governor, Globo news television reported.

Batista, a brash entrepreneur who became the face of Brazil's now-fizzled commodities boom, had been sought since last week by Brazilian police, who raided his Rio mansion and confiscated his luxury cars as part of their bribery investigation.

The 60-year-old businessman, who five years ago had a net worth exceeding $30 billion and was considered among the world's 10 richest people, arrived aboard an American Airlines flight from New York at Rio's international airport just after 10 a.m. local time (1200 GMT).

Since the police raid last week, a Brazilian judge declared him a fugitive and requested his name be added to the wanted list of Interpol, the international police agency.

"I am returning to answer to the courts, as is my duty," Batista said in a brief interview with Brazil's Globo television network at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. "It's time for me to clear this up."

Batista told Globo he never intended to flee and was in New York on business. Batista declined to answer a reporter's question about whether he considered himself guilty or innocent.

Batista's lawyer, Fernando Martins, told Reuters that he did not yet know to which prison his client would be taken.

Inmates with a college degree - which Batista does not have - are usually separated from the rest of the population in Brazil's crowded and chaotic prison system, which has suffered a series of violent riots this year.

A former wildcat gold miner, Batista attracted ravenous demand for shares in his mining and energy ventures. With the decline in oil and mineral prices in recent years, Brazil fell into a recession, and Batista's empire evaporated.

As the bonanza faded, investigators in Brazil discovered large-scale corruption around many major projects from the boom years.

Starting with a probe into kickbacks around state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA , the investigation shed light on a culture of bribery among government officials, politicians and many big companies, especially engineering, energy and infrastructure groups reliant on public licenses and contracts.

Police said last week that Batista had paid roughly $16 million to former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral in exchange for support of the businessman's many Rio-based endeavors. Cabral, who resigned from office in 2014, has been jailed since last year in connection with other corruption charges.

The oil companies OGX Petroleo and OGX Oleo e Gas and mining company MMX , which were founded by Batista, said on Monday he no longer holds administrative roles and his arrest would have no material impact on them.


Brazil's Batista headed back to Rio to face charges on Monday

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-batista-idUSKBN15E04D

Jan 29, 2017

Former billionaire Eike Batista, once Brazil's richest man, is scheduled to arrive in Rio de Janeiro early on Monday, where he is wanted by police in connection with charges including an alleged bribe of about $16 million to a former governor.

"I am returning to answer to the courts, as is my duty," Batista said in a brief interview with Brazil's Globo television network at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. "It's time for me to clear this up."

Batista, a brash entrepreneur who became the face of Brazil's fizzled commodities boom, had been sought since last week by Brazilian police, who raided his Rio mansion and confiscated his luxury cars as part of their bribery investigation.

Since the raid, a Brazilian judge has declared him a fugitive and requested his name be added to a wanted list maintained by Interpol, the international police agency. Local media speculated whether Batista, who also holds a German passport, would seek to evade justice.

In the Globo interview, Batista said he never intended to flee and had been in New York on business. Batista declined to answer the reporter's question about whether he considered himself guilty or innocent.

Just five years ago, Batista, now 60, was calculated to have a net worth exceeding $30 billion and was considered among the world's 10 richest people. A former wildcat gold miner, he attracted ravenous demand for shares in his mining and energy ventures.

With the decline in oil and mineral prices in recent years, Brazil entered a recession, and Batista's empire evaporated. As the bonanza faded, investigators in Brazil discovered huge amounts of corruption around many major projects of the boom years.

Starting with a probe into kickbacks around state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, the investigation shed light on a culture of bribery among government officials, politicians and many big companies, especially engineering, energy and infrastructure groups reliant on public licenses and contracts.

Police said last week that Batista had paid roughly $16 million to former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral in exchange for support of the businessman's many Rio-based endeavors. Cabral, who resigned from office in 2014, has been jailed since last year for a series of other major corruption charges.

Batista checked in on an American Airlines flight scheduled to land at 10:30 a.m. Rio time.

(Reporting by Paulo Prada; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Peter Cooney)

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