Former Brazilian President Indicted In Connection To Money Laundering, Criminal Association Case

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Former Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was indicted Thursday by the country’s federal police allegedly over money laundering and criminal association allegations connected to a case involving undeclared diamonds.

Multiple sources have confirmed to the Associated Press that Bolsonaro was indicted by authorities over a case which involves undeclared diamonds that the former president allegedly received from Saudi Arabia in 2019, which was while he was in office. Both sources did not confirm which specific crimes are within the indictment, as the charges have yet to reach Brazil’s Supreme Court. (RELATED: Bolsonaro’s Home Raided Over Allegations He Used Forged COVID Vaccine Docs To Travel To The US)

The accusations from federal police against Bolsonaro were brought forward last August, claiming he allegedly attempted to sneak in diamond jewelry reportedly worth $3 million and sold two luxury watches, AP News reported. Authorities stated the former president received nearly $70,000 after allegedly selling the two luxury watches that were gifts from Saudi Arabia.

According to the country’s laws, anyone entering into Brazil is required to declare goods valued at more than $1,000, as well as paying a tax equal to half of the value if it’s over $1,000. While Bolsonaro would have been able to be exempt from the tax and have the alleged watches added to the presidential collection, he would have needed to still declare them, according to AP News.

Bolsonaro’s home was also raided by authorities last year on another investigation involving alleged forged COVID-19 vaccine records. Authorities seized the former president’s phone after he visited the U.S. four times, with officials looking into whether he and his aides used falsified documents to go around COVID-19 travel restrictions into order to enter America.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a rally at Copacabana Beach on April 21, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a rally at Copacabana Beach on April 21, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

According to the investigation, Bolsonaro’s former aide-de-camp, Mauro Cid, who was involved in the COVID-19 accusations allegedly sold a Rolex watch and a Patek Philippe watch in June 2022 to a U.S. store for $68,000. Cid had signed a plea deal with authorities to confirm the accusations.

Although the former president has yet to make a comment about the new indictment, his eldest son, Flávio Bolsonaro, took to Twitter on Thursday calling the accusations “blatant and shameless.” In addition to the former president and Cid, 10 others were also indicted in connection to the allegations, including two of his lawyers, Frederick Wassef and Fábio Wajngarten.

Wassef commented on the claims in a statement to AP News, noting how he did not yet have access to the full report as he slammed the first leaks to the press. Wajngarten also took to Twitter to call out the charges claiming there is no evidence to the allegations.

“The Federal Police knows I did nothing related to what they are investigating, but they still want to punish me because I provide unwavering and permanent defense for former President Bolsonaro,” Wajngarten wrote.