Schincariol may have to close down, the company has said, following the arrest of its managers and owners late last week.

A number of executives from the Brazilian brewer Schincariol were detained last week on suspicion of tax evasion and corruption in a huge crackdown on tax evasion in the country.

In a massive operation, the Brazilian police said they had dispatched 600 agents in 12 states to make the arrests in an effort to curb tax evasion in the beer industry.

The charges claim that Schincariol avoided taxes by selling and distributing beer at below-market prices and without receipts, the statement said.

In a statement released this week, Brazil's second largest brewer said its survival is now at stake. It said that the company could not be managed and, as a consequence, was unable to honour its commitments with suppliers, the tax authorities and its own staff.