The defense team of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced to the authorities that his client will hand over to the Court of Auditors jewelry provided to him by Saudi Arabia and illegally brought into Brazil, according to what local media reported on Monday, March 13, 2023.
The former far-right president (2019-2022) is under criticism after the newspaper “O Estado de São Paulo” revealed on March 3 that customs officials seized in October 2021 at São Paulo International Airport jewelry worth $ 3.2 million destined for Mrs. The first was previously Michelle Bolsonaro inside the portfolio of the then Assistant Minister of Mines and Energy, while returning from an official trip to the Middle East.
The tax authorities and the federal police have opened investigations into this case.
The official tried to bring the jewelry into the country without declaring it to customs, but this attempt failed. The newspaper stated that the jewelry (a necklace, ring, watch and earrings) from the Swiss luxury brand “Chopard” was a gift from the Saudi government to Michelle Bolsonaro.
The relevant minister, Bento Albuquerque, told the same newspaper that another group of men’s jewelry (watch, cufflinks and a fountain pen of the same brand) was brought into Brazil without being seized, and part of it became in Bolsonaro’s possession.
According to the local press, Bolsonaro is keeping these jewels as personal gifts, stressing that he acts in compliance with applicable law.
The lawyers for the former chief of police said, as reported by the “G1” news website, “On this date (the defense) asked the Brazilian Court of Accounts that the assets being investigated be deposited in this unit of the Federal Police, in this case until a subsequent decision is issued in this regard.” “.
The Brazilian Court of Auditors announced in a statement on Friday that it had asked Jair Bolsonaro and his former minister to provide explanations about the jewelry.
The Court of Accounts also ordered Bolsonaro to keep the jewelry “intact”, without “putting it on or giving it” to another party through donation or sale.
Bolsonaro, who has been living in the United States since the end of December, denied on Saturday that he had done anything “violating the law.”
Brazilian law stipulates that if any traveler enters the country with goods worth more than a thousand dollars, he must declare these goods and pay the tax due on them.
On the other hand, any commodity, regardless of its value, can be entered without paying any duty on it, provided that it is declared as an official gift to the state. But in this case, the jewelry becomes owned by the state and Bolsonaro and his wife cannot have it after the term ends.