Three Brazilian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Drawn into the Major Petrobras Anti-Corruption Case

Senior judge Vallisney de Souza, from the Tenth Federal District criminal court in Brazil, has ordered three cryptocurrency exchanges in the country – Foxbit, Braziliex and Mercado Bitcoin – to disclose any trading information of the four suspects charged with hacking into former Justice Minister Sergio Moro. The four suspects have had a trail in using Bitcoin (BTC) in trading.

On Tuesday this week, the Brazilian authorities arrested four suspects alleged to have hacked into Moro’s cell phone with an intention to sell the messages to the opposition. Moro was one of the chief judges in the Operation Car Wash case opened in March 2014 and has since seen over 80 top politicians –including two presidents embroiled in the corruption scandal. The Operation further opened expanded the case to corruption happening in the state-backed oil company, Petrobras.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula), one of Brazil’s most famous presidents, was sentenced to 12 years in prison following charges that he received bribes from political parties and construction companies to award inflated contracts for Petronas. On April 7th, Lula lost his appeal against the corruption charges hearing and began his prison time.

According to a Brazilian publication, Valor Econômico, one of the suspects Gustavo Santos, told the judge that another suspect in the hacking probe, Walter Delgatti, wanted to sell off the messages to the Worker’s Party – who are one of the political parties in the Operation Car Wash case.

Following the claim that one of the suspects was trading in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, de Souza ordered that the three Brazilian exchanges reveal all trading information on the suspects starting January 2018. The judgment from de Souza further called on to the Central Bank to follow up any transactions made by the suspects on financial institutions stating,

“The Survey on the National Financial System Customer Registry should communicate exclusively to the financial institutions with whom the investigated persons have or had relationships during the period of bank secrecy, thus accelerating the collection of data from such entities.”

Brazil, however, continues to embrace blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies despite the bad apples in the industry. Minasul, one of the largest coffee cooperatives in the country, announced they will be launching their own digital token this coming August.

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