July 4, 2018 / 1:12 PM / 3 months ago

Brazil police arrest 22 in medical fraud probe; paper says Philips investigated

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian federal police executed 22 arrest warrants on Wednesday morning as part of an investigation into fraud in medical equipment tenders overseen by health authorities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, police said.

The investigation, which concerns a traumatological institute known as Into, involves some 37 companies, the police added.

National media outlet G1 reported that police had entered the Brazilian headquarters of Dutch multinational Philips, formally known as Koninklijke Philips NV, outside of Sao Paulo on Wednesday. It also said two Philips executives were “targets” of the operation.

It was not immediately clear how G1 obtained the information, and representatives for the company did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

In addition to the 22 arrest warrants, the police said they executed 43 search warrants across four states and issued a subpoena for a former Rio de Janeiro state health secretary.

Similar anti-corruption operations reaching across all levels of government have become routine in Brazil. Among the many high-profile figures in the state of Rio imprisoned in recent years is the former governor and the speaker of the state assembly. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Gram Slattery Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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