RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The mayor of a city in the Brazilian state of Amazonas turned himself in at the weekend after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of running a child prostitution ring, the weekly magazine Veja reported.
Manoel Adail Pinheiro, mayor of Coari, surrendered to police on Feb. 8. Five members of his cabinet were also arrested for allegedly assisting in the recruitment of children, Veja said.
Pinheiro is named in nearly 70 lawsuits in the state of Amazonas, accusing him of misuse of public funds, fraud in public tender offers, tax fraud and other crimes, the magazine added.
He was arrested in 2008, accused of channeling 40 million reais ($ 16.7 million) from the city budget to personal projects, but was released two months later by a court order, according to Veja.
Coari is Amazonas state’s second-wealthiest municipality as it receives oil and gas from Brazil’s Urucu onshore field in the Amazon forest.
Pinheiro’s lawyer Alberto Simonetti Neto did not reply to phone calls requesting comment.