BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Former President Jair Bolsonaro underwent questioning Wednesday about diamond jewellery presents when he was in energy, as a part of an investigation into whether or not he was concerned in any irregularities in bringing the gadgets into Brazil.
The case has added to the authorized jeopardy already surrounding the far-right politician’s time as president. He’s additionally underneath investigation for any involvement in a rampage by his supporters by the nationwide capital after he left workplace and for quite a few actions in the course of the presidential election marketing campaign he misplaced final fall.
Federal police and prosecutors are investigating whether or not three units of jewellery introduced into the nation from Saudi Arabia had been public presents that Bolsonaro improperly tried to forestall from being integrated into the presidency’s public assortment or had been non-public presents that Bolsonaro tried to sneak into Brazil with out paying taxes.
Brazil requires its residents arriving by airplane from overseas to declare items price greater than $1,000 and, for any quantity above that exemption, pay a tax equal to 50% of their worth. The three units of jewellery would have been exempt from tax had they been a present from the state of Saudi Arabia to the nation of Brazil, however wouldn’t have been Bolsonaro’s to maintain.
After Bolsonaro left the Federal Police headquarters in Brazil’s capital Wednesday, it wasn’t recognized if he answered investigator’s questions or exercised his proper to remain silent. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing related to the presents, and stated he had by no means tried to cover something.
A customs agent seized one of many units, manufactured by Swiss model Chopard and reportedly price some $3 million, at Sao Paulo’s worldwide airport in Oct. 2021 as an adviser to the then=minister for mines and power introduced it into the nation.
Paperwork and video footage revealed by Brazilian information shops seem to point out supposed emissaries of Bolsonaro making a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt to retrieve the seized jewellery, up till simply days earlier than the top of his presidency.
A authorities watchdog ordered Bolsonaro to return the remaining jewellery to the state-owned Caixa Economica Federal financial institution. He returned one set on March 24. The opposite was delivered on Tuesday, Bolsonaro’s former communications chief, Fábio Wajngarten, wrote on Twitter.
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