Meat processing giant set to move HQ to Ireland embroiled in fraud investigation

The CEO of JBS, the largest meat processor in the world, has been ordered to step aside from his role by a judge, following a fraud investigation by the Brazilian police.

Wesley Batista was questioned by police as part of a probe into state-run companies’ pension funds.

It is also understood that the judge has ordered €2.2 billion worth of assets, which include properties, cars and a plane, to be frozen in alleged damages.

The judge presiding over the case has also ordered Batista’s brother, Joesley, Chairman of the company and other senior executives to step aside from their roles.

A statement from JBS said that the company “became aware of extracts from the judges’ ruling through the press”.

“As reported, part of this ruling could possibly determine the suspension of Wesley and Joesley Batista in their present roles at JBS.

The company has not had formal access to the judges’ ruling and its ramifications. JBS legal counsel are acting to get complete access to the proceeding and the mentioned decision as well as its repercussions to the company.”

JBS shares dropped 10% on September 5, after the allegations against the company’s CEO and top executives came to light.

In August, JBS confirmed its plans to move its headquarters to Dublin after it filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York, detailing its plans a proposed global reorganisation of the company.

The company has registered a number of companies in Ireland and the restructuring of the company will see more than €30 billion of assets moved to Dublin.