Brazil on Friday arrested at least 18 people linked with a corruption scheme of state oil giant Petrobras, the federal police said.
The investigation named "Operation Car Wash" has led to arrests in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and Parana, as well as the Federal District, home to the capital of Brasilia. A total of 49 search and seizure warrants have been issued.
The arrested, including high-level executives such as Renato Duque, former director of engineering and services at Petrobras, will be charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering, among others, the police said.
The Petrobras saga, which involves the embezzlement of 10 billion Brazilian reais (3.84 billion U.S. dollars), became a hot topic during the presidential runoff in late October.
The Veja weekly reported days before the election that President Dilma Rousseff, who was seeking re-election, personally knew the scheme. Rousseff angrily denied any knowledge.