RIO DE JANEIRO — Undeclared diamond jewellery brought into Brazil from Saudi Arabia has deepened the legal jeopardy of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. An investigation into two sets of jewels reportedly worthy of thousands and thousands is only the latest scandal threatening the significantly-appropriate politician. But an substantial paper path and even videos could make the scenario especially challenging for Bolsonaro.


Federal police and prosecutors are investigating no matter whether Bolsonaro experimented with to sneak two sets of high-priced diamond jewellery into Brazil devoid of paying out taxes — and whether or not he improperly sought to avoid the products from becoming integrated into the presidency’s community collection. Authorities are also hunting into whether or not he enlisted general public officials to consider to bypass customs.

The initial established of jewels, composed of earrings, a necklace, a ring and a check out by Swiss brand Chopard, arrived in Brazil in Oct 2021 by way of Sao Paulo’s worldwide airport with an adviser to the then minister for mines and power, Bento Albuquerque, according to the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, which very first documented the situation in early March.

Customs authorities seized the jewels, which are reportedly well worth $3 million. A video clip launched by tv community Globo reveals Albuquerque at customs later on the similar day stating that the jewels ended up for Bolsonaro’s spouse, Michelle.

A 2nd established of jewels, also built by Chopard and including a check out, a pen, a ring, cuff backlinks and a piece resembling a rosary, slipped previous authorities and finished up in Bolsonaro’s possession. The view is well worth about $150,000, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo noted.

A govt watchdog on March 22 ordered Bolsonaro to convert the jewelry around to the point out-owned Caixa Economica Federal lender, as nicely as firearms he received as a reward from authorities in the United Arab Emirates. Bolsonaro’s reps did so on Friday.

Brazil involves its citizens arriving by aircraft from abroad to declare items well worth a lot more than $1,000 and, for any total earlier mentioned that exemption, fork out a tax equal to 50% of their price. The two sets of jewelry would have been exempt from tax experienced they been a reward from the point out of Saudi Arabia to the nation of Brazil, but would not have been Bolsonaro’s to hold.

Bruno Dantas, a member of Brazil’s authorities watchdog, reported a president could receive a gift for particular use devoid of shelling out taxes as extended as it was of lower worth, these kinds of as a T-shirt of a country’s nationwide football group. Pricey jewelry does not fulfill the conditions, he mentioned.

The watchdog reported it will audit all presents been given by Brazil’s presidency through Bolsonaro’s expression.


Documents and video clip footage seem to present Bolsonaro making numerous unsuccessful tries to retrieve the seized jewellery.

A letter from the presidential place of work was despatched to Albuquerque requesting that the jewels be released, O Estado de S.Paulo noted. The ministries of international affairs and mines and strength also despatched letters pressuring customs authorities. Then Bolsonaro despatched a individual letter to customs, O Estado de S.Paulo mentioned.

A final endeavor came in the closing days of Bolsonaro’s presidency. In accordance to a doc viewed by O Estado de S.Paulo, on Bolsonaro’s orders a sergeant took a military airplane to Sao Paulo’s airport in a failed effort to force the launch. Globo introduced a movie of the sergeant speaking with custom made authorities.

WHAT Authorized Challenges HAS THE Scenario Raised?

The Senate’s transparency commission is investigating regardless of whether the sale of a refinery by Brazil’s condition-managed oil big Petrobras to the United Arab Emirates’ Mubadala Funds was associated to the jewels. Mubadala failed to reply to a request for remark sent Friday.

Petrobras concluded the sale for $1.65 billion just one thirty day period following the to start with established of jewels was seized in Sao Paulo. The selling price was “way below” good market place price, an oil workers’ union claimed in a new statement.

Rodrigo Sánchez Rios, a law professor at Pontifical Catholic University in the town of Curitiba, explained Bolsonaro could potentially experience demo on quite a few counts, which include affect peddling, embezzlement, cash laundering and corruption.

“This is most likely the criminal offense with the most proof currently implicating Bolsonaro,” mentioned legal qualified Wallace Corbo from the Getulio Vargas Basis, a believe tank and university.


“There was no intention on our portion to vanish with this content,” Bolsonaro advised television network Report on Wednesday all through an party in Florida. He formerly informed CNN Brasil that he neither requested for nor received the confiscated jewellery.

Bolsonaro’s attorney Frederick Wassef claimed in a statement on March 7 that the previous president “officially declared own property received on journeys,” and is the concentrate on of political persecution.


The former president has denied any wrongdoing in all of the numerous cases under investigation, most a short while ago irrespective of whether he incited the Jan. 8 riots in which his supporters ransacked the Supreme Court docket, the presidential palace and Congress one particular 7 days immediately after leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was inaugurated as president.

Bolsonaro is the subject of a dozen investigations by Brazil’s electoral court into his steps all through the presidential election marketing campaign, specifically associated to his unsubstantiated statements that Brazil’s digital voting program is inclined to fraud. If Bolsonaro ended up identified guilty in any of individuals cases, he would get rid of his political legal rights and be unable to run for workplace in the future election.

Individually, Bolsonaro and his allies are also less than investigation in a sprawling Supreme Court-led investigation on the unfold of alleged falsehoods and disinformation in Brazil.

Federal police are also investigating Bolsonaro and his administration for alleged genocide of the Indigenous Yanomami folks in the Amazon rainforest by encouraging unlawful miners to invade their territory and thereby endangering their lives. He has referred to as the accusation a “hoax from the still left.”


Savarese claimed from Sao Paulo.

By Amalia