Another top government minister in Brazil bites the dust.
Alfredo Nascimento, the country's ransport minister, has resigned amidst allegations of corruption within his ministry that surfaced in an article in Veja magazine. His resignation comes four days after two of his aides quit and one was suspended.
The corruption relates to irregularities in the granting of contracts for public works and services.
The O Globo newspaper also reported that federal prosecutors in Brazil are investigating Nascimento’s 27-year-old son, Gustavo Morais Pereira, in connection with a company he owned that saw its value jump to 50 million reais ($32 million) just two years after being founded it with initial capital outlay of only 60,000 reais.
O Globo stated that Pereira’s firm, Forma Construcoes, engaged in business with S.C. Carvalho Transportes e Construcões, a company that received contracts awarded by the Transport Ministry.
Social Communications Minister Helena Chagas told reporters Paulo Sergio Passos was named acting transportation minister in the interim.
According to the Transport Ministry, Nascimento has denied any wrongdoing, but will cooperate with any investigation.
Nascimento belongs to the Party of the Republic, which is linked to Rousseff’s ruling coalition in Congress. That party holds 40 seats in the 513-seat lower house and seven in the 81-seat Senate.
This is the second prominent minister of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s government to have resigned under a cloud of corruption. Last month cabinet chief, Antonio Palocci, one of Rousseff’s closest allies, quit amid allegations of using his office for self-enrichment.
Construction is huge in Brazil now – as such, the Transport Ministry is a key player in handing out multi-billion dollar infrastructure contracts, ahead of the 2014 World Cup tournament.