Brazilian police seek charges in World Cup stadium corruption case

Brazil’s Federal Police force has called for 21 people to be indicted for allegedly overcharging R$559m (€151.1m/$178m) for redevelopment work at a stadium used during the country’s hosting of the 2014 Fifa World Cup national team football tournament.

Initial forecasts placed the price of work at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasilia at approximately R$600m, but, according to the Reuters news agency, the project ended up costing near to R$1.58bn.

However, suspicions of over-billing did not arise until recently when a number of executives from construction firm Andrade Gutierrez, which led the consortium that carried out the renovation work, entered a plea-bargain deal to offer information about their roles in a wider political kickback scheme.

An ongoing corruption investigation into such activities in the lead up to both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games has led to the arrest of a number of senior sporting and political figures.

Federal prosecutors now have the option to press charges or ask for additional information about work at the Mané Garrincha.

Former governors Agnelo Queiroz and Jose Roberto Arruda are two of the latest political figures to have been accused of ‘criminal overbilling’. Both were named in the near-350-page police report published on Friday.

In June, former Governor of Rio de Janeiro Sergio Cabral was sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison after being found guilty of receiving kickbacks in exchange for granting construction contracts in the Brazilian city.