The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in Paraná, Brazil, this week published its final report regarding the two-year-long "Operation Weak Flesh" investigation into 21 meatpacking plants, including multinational companies BRF SA and JBS SA, two of the world’s largest meat producers and exporters.
A total of 60 people, including federal employees, have been indicted for their role in a corruption scheme that sold expired or adulterated meat. Charges include falsifying medical records and certificates, tampering with food products, conspiracy and corruption.
A low-level manager at Seara, a pork and poultry production and processing business unit of JBS S.A., was indicted allegedly due to his relationship with federal inspectors. The manager was not in an executive role and has been suspended by the company.
JBS suspended a number of its Brazilian operations following the March 17 federal police raids, but operations will resume for some of those plants beginning next week. JBS spokesperson Cameron Bruett said in a statement that six of the 10 Brazilian beef units under furlough will resume operations April 24, as previously planned. “The other four plants will resume operations on May 2, upon the conclusion of refurbishment activities, operational adjustments and equipment replacement activities,” she added.
Two BRF executives were charged for their role in a scheme to bribe health officials, prosecutors said. Federal prosecutors in the state of Parana allege that both BRF director Andre Luiz Baldissera and government relations executive Roney Nogueira took part in a scheme to bribe officials in return for less-rigorous plant inspections.
Besides the two BRF executives, additional BRF employees, as well as public officials and health inspectors, were charged.
The scandal has cost Brazil's export market an estimated $1.5 billion in lost revenue.