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Managers of Petrobras, Shell Arrested in Brazil as Part of Fuel Probe - Reports

© AFP 2023 / VANDERLEI ALMEIDAPeople walk past Petrobras building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 12, 2014
People walk past Petrobras building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 12, 2014 - Sputnik International
MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The Brazilian authorities have arrested eight managers of the country's major fuel distributors, among which a division of the international energy company Shell, as part of a probe into a rise in fuel prices in the country, the Globo news portal reported.

The arrested individuals are employed in such companies as Petrobras Distribuidora, Ipiranga (a division of Brazil's Ultrapar fuel distributor) and Raizen energy company (a joint venture of Cosan and Royal Dutch Shell), which account for 70 percent of the country's fuel market, the Globo news portal reported.

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Besides, the police have searched the homes of suspects and the companies' offices, the news outlet added.

Petrobras Distribuidora said, commenting on the probe, that it was guided by best commercial practices, competitiveness, ethics and respect for consumers in pricing process and required its partners and employees to do same. Raizen, in turn, said that it was the owners of the petrol station, who set fuel prices, while distributors did not interfere in the process.

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Ipiranga reacted to the news about arrests saying that it was examining the available information and expressing its readiness to cooperate with the investigation.

The increased fuel prices in Brazil, which is Latin America's major oil producer, have sparked resentment of the country's population recently. In May, traffic in Brazil has been paralyzed for several days due to a strike of truckers, who demanded changes in pricing principles and the resignation of Pedro Parente, then president of Brazil's Petrobras state petroleum company.

As a result, Brazilian President Michel Temer agreed to the protesters' demands and reduced diesel prices, while Parente stepped down amid protests on June 1.

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