Brazil police complete criminal probe into Samarco dam burst

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 09, 2016 6:28 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's federal police said on Thursday they have completed a criminal investigation into a dam burst last November at a mine run by Samarco, a joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Billiton, in which they accused three companies and eight employees of various crimes including wilful misconduct.

The three companies accused are: Samarco, Vale and VogBR, the service company that checked the safety of the dam. The names of the individuals were not disclosed by the police.

With the police investigation now finished, the case will pass to prosecutors who will chose whether or not to press charges.

All of the accused, excluding one individual, were first informed by the police in January. At the time media reports said former Samarco Chief Executive Ricardo Vescovi was among the accused.

Vale, Samarco and VogBR did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)