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BRF executives charged in ‘Operation Weak Flesh’ probe

Jaclyn Jaeger | April 21, 2017

Brazilian food company BRF confirmed in a statement that two of its executives were among those arrested and charged with taking part in a widespread corruption scandal, dubbed “Operation Weak Flesh.”

In a statement, BRF confirmed that Roney Nogueira dos Santos, BRF institutional relations manager, and André Baldissera, manufacturing officer for Goais, Minas Gerais and Matto Grosso were arrested last month in connection with the investigation.

BRF said it learned about the arrest warrants through media reports on March 17, the day Baldissera was arrested. Nogueira was arrested the following day.

“The company understands that the arrest of the employees mentioned above do not affect the carrying on of business and is not a material fact,” BRF stated. “These employees are not statutory directors and are of intermediate level of management of the company, which is composed of approximately 660 people.”

In the statement, BRF reiterated that it “complies with the rules and regulations related to the production and commercialization of its products, has strict processes and controls and does not concur with any illegal conduct.”

As Compliance Week previously reported, Brazilian enforcement authorities are currently investigating some of the world’s largest meatpackers over allegations that agribusiness leaders bribed inspectors from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture to overlook unsanitary practices—such as processing rotten beef and poultry, and shipping exports with traces of salmonella—so that their sales to domestic and foreign meat and poultry buyers would be approved.

Operation Weak Flesh is one of the largest scale operations on record in Brazil. Federal police in March announced that 1,100 federal agents carried out 309 judicial warrants across multiple Brazilian states.