Brazil’s ex-Finance Minister admits to Swiss bank account

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil’s former Finance Minister Guido Mantega has admitted that he owned an undeclared bank account in a Swiss bank with $600,000.

Mantega served as Finance Minister from 2006 to 2015, during most of the term of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and of the first presidential term of impeached President Dilma Rousseff.

He also served as the Minister of Planning and Budget from 2003 to 2004 in Lula’s first term, Xinhua news agency reported.

The former minister said the account was opened before he became a minister and denied that the deposited money was bribe.

According to him, the money was from the sale of a family property.

Mantega authorised the Brazilian authorities to have full access to his bank and fiscal information.

He said he would present the documents that would show the transactions and prove the source of the money once he gets them from the bank.

Mantega in a statement acknowledged his mistake on not having declared the money and said he did not expect any sort of leniency on the matter.

But he denied asking for favours or bribes in exchange for anything while in public service.

The former minister is under investigation in the Carwash Operation, a major Federal Police operation that is unravelling a large bribe scheme involving contracts between the government and the private sector.

He is suspected to have demanded bribes for campaigns of the Workers Party in 2012.

So far, the investigation is still in progress. Mantega has not been officially accused.