A former wildcat gold miner, Batista attracted ravenous demand for shares in his mining and energy ventures. With the decline in oil and mineral prices in recent years, Brazil fell into a recession, and Batista's empire evaporated.
As the bonanza faded, investigators in Brazil discovered large-scale corruption around many major projects from the boom years.
Starting with a probe into kickbacks around state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the investigation shed light on a culture of bribery among government officials, politicians and many big companies, especially engineering, energy and infrastructure groups reliant on public licenses and contracts.
Police said last week that Batista had paid roughly $16 million to former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral in exchange for support of the businessman's many Rio-based endeavors. Cabral, who resigned from office in 2014, has been jailed since last year in connection with other corruption charges.
The oil companies OGX Petroleo and OGX Oleo e Gas and mining company MMX, which were founded by Batista, said on Monday he no longer holds administrative roles and his arrest would have no material impact on them.
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