Michel Temer speaks as he participates in the inauguration ceremony of the submarine "Riachuelo," built by the submarine development programme, in Itaguai, Brazil. Pilar Olivares / Reuters / File Photo
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's ex-president Michel Temer was arrested on Thursday as part of a sprawling anti-corruption probe that has already claimed dozens of political and corporate scalps, media reports said.
Temer, the predecessor of current President Jair Bolsonaro, was Brazil's most unpopular leader ever and faced a number of corruption accusations on leaving office last year.
Police arrested Temer in Sao Paulo on the order of a federal criminal judge, reports said. Former mines and energy minister Moreira Franco was also detained.
The so-called Car Wash investigation uncovered a vast graft operation involving Petrobras and major construction companies and bribes to politicians of several parties.
Temer, a centre-right politician, took over as a caretaker figure after the last Workers Party president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed from office in 2016.