The mayor of the Brazilian city of Presidente Kennedy was arrested Thursday for corruption in a Federal Police operation ironically dubbed “Lee Harvey Oswald.”
Reginaldo Quinta was detained along with 27 other people on charges they conspired to embezzle 50 million reais ($26.6 million) in public funds, the Federal Police said in a statement.
Cops also searched 51 municipal offices and private residences in search of evidence against the alleged corruption ring.
Operation Lee Harvey Oswald arose out an investigation launched six months ago that identified Presidente Kennedy’s mayor as the boss of an criminal organization.
Besides the mayor, the people arrested Thursday included a niece of Quinta’s who was running three municipal departments, the local federal prosecutor, members of committees responsible for awarding government contracts, several business owners and two police officers.
Presidente Kennedy remains one of the poorest cities in the southeastern state of Espirito Santo despite its having a per capita GDP higher than that of some developed countries thanks to generous support from other levels of government, the Federal Police said.
The discrepancy between the nominally high incomes and the poor living standards can be attributed to the diversion of resources by the alleged corruption ring, according to the police statement.