Brazilian police have ordered the arrest of the marketing expert who helped President Dilma Rousseff win two elections — a development that sees a long-running corruption probe move a step closer to the president.

In a televised news conference on Monday morning, police accused Joao Santana and his wife, Monica Moura, of receiving millions of dollars in illicit funds from Odebrecht, a major construction company under investigation for its relationship with the state-run oil company Petrobras.

The two are currently in the Dominican Republic. According to their lawyer, they are willing to cooperate with any police inquiry.

As well as masterminding Rousseff's 2010 and 2014 election victories, Santana also ran former president Lula da Silva's successful 2006 campaign.