Source: Operação Esopo | Press Agency of the Federal Police
The federal police news agency reports on a major bust involving the misuse of an OSCIP — a special type of NGO — to divert and launder an avalanche of funds in 11 Brazilian states.
As to the OSCIP, the category includes such organizational structures as the BONGO — the big, old NGO — the BINGO — a big international NGO — and the GONGO — the government orchestrated NGO.
The PF does not name the OSCIP involved, or the “federal minister” allegedly caught up in the case. At the moment, the PF press release is simply receiving Ctl-C Ctl-V treatment from the news media.
A Shot in the Dark
We will have to wait for the press conference, I guess, though we may be able to do some intelligent guessing.
This is the second PF operation this week involving the Ministry of Labor, for example — the first of which appeared to cast suspicion on an OSCIP called CEAT –the Center for the Attendance of the Worker, a federation of OSCIPs and ONGs and other entities well established in several Brazilian states.
Above: CEAT and its network of partnerships. It fits the profile to a T. It has archbishop Dom Odilo Pedro Scherer as president of its deliberative council. On which see
The original police press release follows.
Belo Horizonte/MG – The federal police (PF), together with the federal prosecutor (MPF), the federal Comptroller-General and the federal tax authority revealed Operation Aesop, whose objective is to dismantle a criminal organization that diverted public funds based on fraudulent public works auctions in ten Brazilian states and the Federal District.
The PF is serving 101 bench warrants: 44 search and seizure warrants; 20 warrants for the seizure of assets; 25 temporary arrest warrants and 12 warrants for [menacing].
These warrants are being carried out at businesses participating in the scheme, the OSCIP … and at the prefectures of Araçuaí, Coração de Jesus, Januária, São Francisco, São João da Ponte, Taiobeiras and Três Corações, as well as the Instituto do Governo de Minas Gerais, a federal minister and FIEMG.
The criminal organization was set up as a type of NGO — a “Civil Society Organization in the Public Interest” and comprising businesses, individuals and high-ranking civil servants, as well as political agents — carried out fraudulent auctions of public works, steering the result of various services auctioned off to the OSCIP at the city, state and federal level.
Once the contract was signed, the services were performed at inflated prices, or else were never rendered, giving way to million-dollar transfers to companies taking part in the scheme and making it possible for OSCIP directors to misappropriate public funds, part of which would be diverted again to the various public servants involved in the scheme to take possession of the funds.
Investigations show that the OSCIP received, in the last 5 years alone, sums superior to R$400 million from city, state and federal sources, and that it operated in 10 states, as well as the federal district.
The subjects will respond to charges of crimes against the public administration, criminal conspiracy, use of fraudulent documents, active and passive corruption, and money laundering, among other charges. Found guilty, they could serve more than 30 years in prison.
What is an OSCIP?
OSCIPs are NGOs created by the private sector, which obtains a certification from the Ministry of Justice when it demonstrates that it possesses certain prerequisites, especially in the area of administrative transparency. In return, the OSCIP may enter into what is known as a public-private partnership, which represents an alternative to standard contracts in that they afford greater agility and proportionality.
The law regulating OSCIPs is Law 9.790, of March 23, 1999. This law makes it possible for nonprofit private-sector organizations (groups of persons or professionals ) to qualify as OSCIPs and earn the right to form relationships through partnerships, so long as their social purpose is fulfilled and corporate governance is lawful.
Among the objectives of an OSCIP are the promotion of social assistance, culture, conservation of historic and artistic assets; the furnishing of educational or health services free of charge; the defense, preservation and conservation of the environment and the promotion of volunteerism and sustainable development.
The operation appears to be a separate case from Operation Pronto Emprego, involving the siphoning off of R$ 47.5 million from a program run by the ministry of labor, announced last week.
The PF is serving warrants today at the building of the Minas Gerais State Federation of Industries (Fiemg) in Belo Horizonte, as part of Operation Aesop, which targets fraud in bidding on public contracts and diversion of public funds.
The Ministry of Labor in Brasília was also targeted this morning.
According to a press aide to Fiemg, police arrived at the building and prevented employees from entering the building … Fiemg has yet to respond to the operation.
In Brasília, the executive secretary of the Minister of Labor, Paulo Roberto, was taken to a PF office to give a statement. He spent about an hour at the location and was then allowed to go, according to the Ministry. Roberto was interim Minister of Labor in December 2011 and May 2012. G1 was unable to locate him. Agents say that the material collected will be sent on to Minas Gerais. The PF of Brasília said it would not comment on the case.
The operation also counts on the participation of the federal prosecutor (MPF) , the federal Comptroller-General and the federal tax authority. The PF says the criminal scheme operated through an OSCIP constituted by corporations, private citizens, civil servants, city and governments, and federal ministers.
The rest you already know.
The PF says the name “Aesop” refers to the Greek author of the fable of the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” used to refer to the OSCIP in question. The organization, police say, use partnerships with the public sector to justify the realization of profits.
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