Former Brazilian President Michel Temer has been arrested in São Paulo as part of a massive corruption investigation.
Temer, a 78-year-old lawyer who served as president from 2016 to 2018, is being investigated in several cases. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. His arrest was considered imminent after he lost his legal protection when he left office.
Many politicians and business leaders have been convicted or charged as part of the so-called Operation Car Wash.
Temer, from the centre-right MDB party, took over the Brazilian presidency in August 2016 following the impeachment of leftist Dilma Rousseff, a process in which he played a key role.
While in office, Temer was hit by corruption charges which were blocked by his allies in Congress.
Deeply unpopular, Temer was replaced in January by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. He was arrested in his hometown of São Paulo on Thursday morning local time and will be flown to Rio de Janeiro where he is expected to answer to the charges.
Local media say police had been trying to trace Temer since Wednesday. His former Mining and Energy Minister Moreira Franco was also arrested.
Former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is now serving 12 years in jail after being convicted of corruption, also as part of Operation Car Wash. (BBC)