The controlling shareholder of the world’s largest meat-packer, JBS, will pay a record $3.2 billion fine for its role in corruptions scandals.
J&F Investimentos will start paying the fine as of December this year as part of a leniency deal which has been struck this week. The full amount must be paid within 25 years.
The scandal has shaken the Brazilian political establishment to the core, with President Michel Temer under intense scrutiny. J&F owners Joesley and Wesley Batista claimed that they had spent $184 million to bribe nearly 1,900 politicians. The two owners resigned from their board positions last week.
This is believed to be the largest fine yet, beating the $2.6 billion paid by Brazilian engineering giant Odebrecht which was also involved in a corruption case centred around state oil company Petrobras.
In a bid to reassure consumers that its meat is safe to eat, JBS last month took out full-page newspaper ads and spots on prime-time television. The company denied allegations from the investigating judge that cardboard and acid was added to some Brazilian meat. Some health departments are also accused of accepting bribes in return for false certificates.
The number of countries that had either suspended or curtailed imports of meat from Brazil had risen to at least 35. China, Canada, Japan, Mexico and all European Union (EU) member states have either suspended or restricted imports of Brazilian meat in reaction to the corruption scandal.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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