July 7, 2016 / 1:17 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil police detain tax appeals official after Itau tip

BRASILIA, July 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian police detained an official with the federal tax appeals unit for demanding bribes to help lender Itau Unibanco in an ongoing case, the bank said on Thursday.

CARF, a unit within the Finance Ministry that hears appeals on tax disputes, has been at the heart of a police investigation, known as “Operation Zealots,” into kickbacks by companies to officials and lobbyists to get favorable decisions.

The federal police confirmed the detention, which was not linked to a broader corruption investigation. In a statement, the police said they were tipped by a private company that the official, who was not identified, had asked for benefits to help influence a case.

Itau, the country’s largest private lender, said in a statement it reported to authorities the misconduct of the CARF official who demanded a bribe in exchange for helping the lender in an ongoing case. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi and Alonso Soto; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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