- Labor minister is latest to be tainted by allegations
- Four other Cabinet members have resigned
- Minister Carlos Lupi says he is investigating the allegations
Another of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's Cabinet members is under scrutiny for alleged corruption following an exposé in the magazine Veja.
Labor Minister Carlos Lupi is the fifth Cabinet minister to be accused of corruption this year. The previous four have resigned, though no criminal charges have been filed.
But Lupi has denied the accusations and says he has begun investigating his subordinates whose names appeared in the magazine article.
"I cannot allow 30 years of public service to be thrown in the mud because of cowards who hide behind the anonymity of the pages of a magazine," Lupi said in a statement.
He urged the federal police to begin an immediate investigation into the allegations.
According to the magazine, its report reveals that the "chiefs of the (Democratic Labor Party), led by the minister of labor, Carlos Lupi, transformed the ministry into an instrument of extortion."
The report found that the labor ministry was demanding bribes from nongovernmental organizations of between 5% and 10% to ensure that hurdles imposed by the ministry itself would be surpassed.
The magazine fingered Anderson Alexandre Santos, an official at the ministry, as the main operator in the alleged scheme.
Lupi removed Santos from his post after the publication of the article, the state-run Agencia Brasil news agency reported.
A former special aide to Lupi and his former chief of staff were also accused of involvement, according to the magazine.