Further Details of Education Ministry Corruption Emerge

Days after former education minister Milton Ribeiro and evangelical pastors Arilton Moura and Gilmar Santos were preemptively detained on suspicion of corruption, more details are emerging regarding the two preachers’ ties to the Ministry of Education. ‘Education, with which they had no formal connection.

MM. Moura and Santos are suspected of orchestrating a corruption scheme by allocating education development funds to some mayors in return for bribes.

A report submitted to the Comptroller General’s office by the current education minister, Victor Godoy Veiga, says Mr Ribeiro tried to secure an official position for Mr Moura in the education ministry.

Mr. Moura was offered a position as an adviser to the executive secretariat of the ministry, but reportedly turned it down because he felt the salary was too low. The monthly salary of BRL 10,373.30 (USD 1,982.35) that he rejected is more than eight times the current minimum wage.

This position ended up being entrusted to Luciano de Freitas Musse, a lawyer who often accompanied MM. Moura and Santos during their meetings with Ministry of Education officials. Mr. Musse was also targeted during the police operation last week.

Meanwhile, the Federal Police have confirmed that there are records that Mr Moura stayed 63 times between 2020 and March 2022 at the Grand Bittar hotel in Brasilia. On at least 10 of those occasions, Mr. Musse was staying at the same hotel at the same time.

The Grand Bittar hotel is said to have served as the pastors’ headquarters for their negotiations with the mayors. Mr. Santos only stayed as a guest at the hotel once, but he was reportedly seen frequently in the lobby and restaurant.