Brasilia, Brazil /
The defense of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro told authorities that his client deliver to the court of accounts a package of jewelry gifted by Saudi Arabia and entered irregularly to the country in 2021, as reported by the local press.
The former president has been under investigation by the federal police and Brazil’s tax agency since the daily Or State of S. Paulo reported that agents seized a package of jewelry in October 2021, valued at $3.2 million.
The jewels were found inside the backpack of an official from the Ministry of Mines and Energy who was returning from an official trip to the Middle East.
The former head of that ministry, Bento Albuquerque, revealed to the same newspaper a second set of jewelry, which included a watch and a pen from the luxurious Swiss brand Chopard, neither declared by the government entourage.
The set of jewels would have entered Brazil undetected and a part ended up in Bolsonaro’s possession.
The former president retained a watch, a pen and other luxury items claiming that they were personal gifts and that he acted within the provisions of the law, according to local press reports.
“On this date (the defense) asked the Court of Accounts of the Union (TCU) that the assets, which are the object of investigation in this unit of the Federal Police, be deposited in that trial, until further decision about them“, said the former president’s defense in a presentation before the police cited by G1.
The TCU ordered on Friday that a statement be taken from Bolsonaro and former minister Albuquerque so that they manifest themselves on the jewels.
In addition, the entity ordered the former president to keep the jewelry “intact” and to refrain from “using, disposing or disposing of them”.
Brazilian law establishes that when entering the country with merchandise worth more than one thousand dollars, the Passengers must declare them and pay the due tax.
According to Or State of S. Pauloagents of the far-right government tried at least eight times to convince officials from customs to release the lot of retained jewelry.