Brazil’s Bolsonaro denies any illegal actions related to the seized jewelry
Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro says he did nothing illegal after trying to bring more than $3 million worth of jewelry into the country in 2021 without notifying authorities.
BRAZIL, Brazil — Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he did nothing illegal after trying to bring more than $3 million worth of jewelry into the country in 2021 without notifying authorities.
The jewelry – an earring, a necklace, a ring and a Swiss Chopard brand watch – was presented to Bolosonaro by the Saudi Arabian government when he was still in office, according to a report from O Estado on Friday. de São Paulo newspaper.
According to the newspaper, the kit was found in the luggage of Bolsonaro’s mining adviser and energy minister at São Paulo’s international airport. The minister visited Saudi Arabia after attending a 2021 Middle East summit.
Under Brazilian law, goods purchased from abroad worth more than $1,000 must be declared for taxation. According to a document obtained by the newspaper and later released by Bolsonaro’s former chief of communications staff, the jewelry was not declared.
Former communications chief Fabio Wajngarten wrote on his social media page that the box was sealed and only opened by customs authorities in Brazil. He said that since it was a presidential gift, neither he nor the members of the delegation were obliged to open it.
Investigators will now find out whether Bolsonaro tried to secretly send the jewels to Brazil to avoid taxes or to keep them out of the presidency’s public collection. If it is in the public collection, he could not have taken it with him when he left office.
Bolsonaro said on Saturday that he had never engaged in illegal activities and was accused of a gift he never asked for and never received, Brazil said in a statement to CNN.
Justice Minister Flavio Dino wrote on his social media page that he will write to the federal police on Monday to open an investigation into possible money laundering or abuse.