Updated 03:32 PM EDT, Mon, Sep 27, 2021

Brazil's Federal Police Scour Properties of Speaker Subjected to Graft Probe

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Brazilian authorities raided Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha's residence in Rio de Janeiro as part of the extensive corruption probe of top political figures in the country.

A report from Associated Press as posted in Yahoo News revealed how the country's police swept homes and offices of those accused of graft and corruption.

According to BBC, the 57-year-old Brazilian lawmaker is one of the officials suspected of involvement in graft and corruption practices.

Cunha, described by AP as "a bitter nemesis of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff" is accused of accepting a $5 million bribe from companies in exchange for contracts with the country's biggest oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras.

Charges were filed against the legislator in August, citing that Cunha reportedly hid the bribe money in secret bank accounts in Switzerland.

Hours after the police raid was initiated, the lower house ethics committee announced that they would launch an investigation of Cunha's alleged Swiss accounts after the legislators voted 11 to 9 in favor of the probe.

Cunha's supporters tried to impede the vote when the committee came to a heated argument with them Thursday last week.

According to The Guardian, authorities in Switzerland were alerted to the alleged secret bank accounts in Julius Baer bank, and found information on Cunha and his wife's profligate credit card spending.

Formerly deemed an "untouchable politician," Cunha will face removal from office if he is found guilty for lying to the congressional hearing back in March, when he denied having any bank accounts abroad.

This development paved the way for the Brazil's impeachment bout in favor of the country's embattled President Rousseff, the outlet noted.

"The ethics case and the police raid may weaken Cunha's effort to unseat the president and undermine his credibility in the divided Brazilian Democratic Movement party," the outlet explained.

Despite this, University of Brasilia's political scientist Aninho Mucundramo Irachande still believes that Rousseff should not write Cunha off just yet.

"He continues to have significant control in the lower house, even though he doesn't have a say in the ethics council. He still has tricks up his sleeve," he told The Guardian.

"Cunha has effectively been boycotting her in congress. The way that Cunha has led the house has affected the power balance, using his position in the wrong way," DIAP political analyst Antonio Augusto de Queiroz chimed in, citing that Cunha's removal from the picture may still be good for the president.

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