Prosecutors in Brazil have used BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to expose alleged corruption, the Wall Street Journal reports. Alongside confessions from insiders at energy corporation Petroleo Brasileiro, information was uncovered on BBM and used to shine a light on suspects.
According to the WSJ, thousands of instant messages were uncovered using search warrants and in cooperation with Canada smartphone company BlackBerry. The communication helped authorities make key connections between alleged money launderers and supposed clients, which included lawmakers and construction contractors.
So far more than 100 people have faced criminal charges, the WSJ says, and the investigation has included nearly 50 Brazilian politicians. The probe is called “Operation Car Wash” and has had a huge impact on the country’s establishment and Petrobras, which largely deals with oil.
Many of the message transcripts were reviewed by the WSJ. A lot of them were general chat and didn’t bring up anything damning, but amid jokes and random photos were details that aided prosecutors to identify those accused of wrongdoing in the scandal.
One BBM message feed covered meetings, cash pickups, and bank transfers relating to deals. It’s all to do with allegations that high-flying execs, politicians, and other officials have been skimming hundreds of millions of dollars from the state-controlled Petrobras oil giant.
The findings come just four years after riots swept the UK in 2011. Police at the time took to social media such as Twitter and Facebook to find and charge suspects, but largely missed BBM, which was used by people to arrange movements in the riots.
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