A delegation from the Bolsonaro government will return from a trip to the Middle East in 2021. Customs confiscate undeclared valuable jewelry for the First Lady. The ousted Brazilian president says he knows nothing.
The Brazilian Federal Police (PF) has launched an investigation into the illegal importation of valuable jewelery into Brazil by the government of ex-President Jair Bolsonaro. This emerged from a statement by the PF on Monday evening (local time). According to Justice Minister Flávio Dino, who requested the investigation, there could be criminal offenses of embezzlement, embezzlement and money laundering.
The Brazilian newspaper "Estado de S. Paulo" first reported on the case. According to the report, when a government delegation returned from the Middle East in 2021, an employee of the then Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque had brought a necklace and earrings worth three million euros with him without declaring them to customs at São Paulo airport.
Items valued over US$1000 must be declared upon importation into Brazil. Ex-Energy Minister Albuquerque told the "Estadão" that the jewelry was a gift for then First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro. However, he also claimed not to have known anything about the contents of the "two packages" that his delegation received.
According to the Agência Brasil news agency, he later changed his version to the effect that it was "institutional gifts (...) for the Brazilian state". Right-wing ex-President Bolsonaro also denied any illegality on "CNN Brasil". "I'm being accused of a gift that I neither asked for nor received," he said. According to the "Estadão", the Bolsonaro government tried various ways to get hold of the jewelry that the tax authorities had withheld. No attempt to legalize the jewels by paying the necessary fee has been made since the confiscation, according to the tax agency.