Facebook condemns "extreme and disproportionate" arrest of executive in Brazil over accusations WhatsApp failed to cooperate with drug trafficking investigation

 
William Turvill
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A Facebook executive has been arrested in Brazil in relation to a case involving WhatsApp (Source: Getty)

Facebook's Latin America vice president has been arrested in Brazil in connection with a case involving WhatsApp.

Diego Dzodan was detained after the company failed to cooperate with judicial orders on an investigation into drug trafficking in Sergipe state. Police said he remained in custody for questioning in Sao Paulo state.

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A Facebook spokesperson said:

We’re disappointed with the extreme and disproportionate measure of having a Facebook executive escorted to a police station in connection with case involving WhatsApp, which operates separately from Facebook. Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have.

City A.M. understands Facebook has one sales office in Brazil and that no one in that office has access to WhatsApp user information or the authority to make decisions on behalf of the messenger service.

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In December, a judge blocked WhatsApp - which was bought by Facebook in 2014 - across Brazil after a failure to comply with a court order in a criminal case.

WhatsApp chief executive Jan Koum said in a post on Facebook at the time: "We are disappointed in the short-sighted decision to cut off access to WhatsApp, a communication tool that so many Brazilians have come to depend on, and sad to see Brazil isolate itself from the rest of the world."

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