General Electric Co.’s chief executive officer for Latin America was arrested in Brazil as part of a corruption probe into an alleged health-care cartel that operated for more than two decades.
Daurio Speranzini Jr. was served an arrest warrant in a sweep early Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro along with eight other people. Police are allowed to hold him for five days. Thirteen so-called preventative arrest warrants, which have no set time for release, and 44 search warrants were also issued, Brazil’s Federal Police said in a statement.
GE’s press office in Brazil confirmed the arrest Wednesday, but said GE is not the target of the investigations.
“The company believes that the facts will be clarified by the Justice and is available to collaborate with the authorities,” GE said in an e-mailed statement.
According to the police statement, the cartel was formed by at least 33 companies and operated between 1996 and 2017. The alleged cartel is accused of steering contracts with the state of Rio and a medical institute to members of the group, while working to disqualify competitors.
Speranzini took over as CEO of GE’s Latin American operations in January 2018, according to his LinkedIn page. Prior to that, he had held various executive roles at GE Healthcare in the region and the U.S. since 2011.
By Jessica Brice and Julia Leite