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The PF carries out an operation against the secret budget in the most toothless city in Brazil

The PF carries out an operation against the secret budget in the most toothless city in Brazil

a The Federal Police carried out an operation on Thursday morning (2) in Pedriras, in the interior of Maranhão, in a new development of the fraud investigations of the Unified Health System (SUS). As revealed a report PiawiTowns in Maranhão diverted money from the secret budget in the following way: municipal councils registered inflated numbers of medical consultations in the SUS and, on the other hand, received much larger transfers than they should have received through parliamentary amendments. Pedreras is the most telling case of this criminal scheme: despite having a population of only 39,000, the municipality has reported to SUS that it has extracted 540,000 teeth in 2021 and another 220,000 teeth in the first four months of 2022. It is as if every resident of The city area has been lost 19 teeth – More than half of the dental arch – in a period of sixteen months. No wonder Thursday’s Operation National Front was named Tira-Dente.

The police issued eleven search and seizure warrants in Pedreras, Pacapal, Lago do Junco, Lago dos Rodríguez, and all municipalities in Maranhao. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Federal Police, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Comptroller’s Office. In Pedreiras, the agents went to City Hall. Authorized by the Federal Court, 1.8 million riyals were blocked from those investigated. One of the targets of the operation is businessman Roberto Rodríguez de Lima, who appears as a demander of millions of reais in amendments to the general decision of the budget of Pedriras and other cities. The PF executed a search warrant at his company, RR de Lima, based in Lago do Junco. Some of those investigated were also subject to other precautionary measures, such as a ban on participating in public tenders. The full list of suspects has not been released.

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Roberto Lima and his brother Renato were already targets for PF operation in October last year. At that time, they were both arrested – but since it was a temporary prison, they were released shortly thereafter. The operation, called Quebra Ossos, targeted the town of Igarapé Grande, neighboring Pedreiras, which shows a similar pattern of fraud in the SUS.

At the request of investigators, at the time, the Federal Court authorized the blockade of 78 million reais from the town halls of twenty municipalities in Maranhão. This was the result of the work of the Federal Public Prosecution in the civil field. Now, Pedreiras is in the crosshairs of criminal investigations – and not just because of the startling data on tooth extractions.

The Municipal Health Department of Pedriras has received payments of OMR 6 million, in 2022, from the confidential budget for primary health care. By analyzing the accounts, the police found irregularities in a contract worth 2.7 million riyals with Center Med, a company that has an orange partner. Investigators’ suspicion is attempted targeting. Upon examining the bills, the police identified excess bills of at least 500,000 riyals. The former municipal health minister of Bidriras, Marcelio Lira Ximenes, who was acquitted at the end of the year, was also a target of the investigation.

a Piawi He tried to contact the lawyers of Roberto Lima and Marcelo Jimenes, who could not be located. The space is still open for clarification.

AndAlthough he does not have a mandate as a deputy or senator, Roberto Lima was able to solicit funds from the secret budget by registering as an “external user” – a mechanism adopted by Congress to circumvent a Federal Supreme Court ruling, in December 2021 that required transparency. In money transfer. Course modifications. a Piawi Already revealed that Senator Weverton Rocha (PDT-MA), a proponent of Centro’s left wing, He was the hidden author of part of the modifications requested by Lima For municipalities in Maranhão involved in SUS fraud. To date, however, the modifications to Pedreiras – now under investigation by the Federal Police – have yet to be disclosed. It is only known that the official author of the requests was Lima – practically, an orange, who signed the indications given by Weverton Rocha with his CPF.

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Rocha is very close to the current Deputy Minister of Communications, Juscelino Filho (União-MA). The two campaigned in the interior of Maranhao, including Pedreras, last year. And the city’s mayor, Vanessa Maia, expressed her gratitude. “You know we don’t do anything on our own. Having capable people on our side who care about Pedreiras’ claims is what we stand for. That’s why we chose those who really work, like Fred Maia, Juscelino Filho and Weverton,” he wrote, in an Instagram post, in September. In the photo, the mayor appeared alongside Fred Maya – her husband – and Rocha and Philo.

Pedreiras is the electoral stronghold of Juscelino Filho, who won a seat in Lula’s ministry through his party’s candidacy – and mainly, because he was a protégé of Senator Devi Alcolumbre (União-AP). Last year, Filho was the federal deputy elected with the most votes in Pedriras: 2,300. Since he took over the ministry two months ago, he has been piled with complaints. reports from Estadao And he indicated that Philo referred to amendments to pay for the asphalt that paved a piece of land on his farm. In addition, he had flown in a Brazilian Air Force (FAB), urgently requested, trip to official commitments – but these commitments only lasted two hours, and the minister spent two days walking through an auction of racehorses, with each paid daily by the taxpayer. .

Into the world of scams SUS exposed PiawiQuarrying is, by far, the most surreal case. The City Council recorded 760,000 extractions (the technical name for tooth extraction) in just over a year. After the publication of the Farra Ilimitada report, in July last year, the Pedreiras Municipal Council said that the exaggerated numbers were due to a “printing error”. When traveling to the city, the report found a female dentist working in a health center and asked her about cases of tooth extractions in the area. “In the past, there was more demand for extractions, but now there isn’t much. There are two consultations, sometimes not one per day. That’s the situation,” she explained, without reporting the numbers the city provided to the SUS.

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