RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian authorities say they have arrested a Rio de Janeiro city councilman for allegedly taking bribes to turn bodies from public morgues over to private funeral parlors without families’ consent.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office says councilman Gilberto de Oliveira Lima is one of three officials involved in the alleged scheme.
Authorities said Tuesday that funeral homes bribed the men to get the bodies. Once a corpse was at a private funeral home, relatives were often forced to pay for its housing plus any cremation or burial costs.
Lima worked at a public coroner’s office before winning his seat on Rio’s city council.
Officials at Rio’s City Hall declined to comment and phone calls to the coroner’s office were not answered.