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Bolsonaro hands over undeclared jewels gifted by Saudis: report

BRASíLIA — Lawyers for Jair Bolsonaro say the former Brazilian president agreed to hand over jewels donated by Saudi Arabia to authorities that entered the country without being reported to tax authorities, local media reported on Monday.

The ex-leader has been the target of investigations by federal police and Brazil’s tax agency since the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported that tax officials seized a $3.2 million package of jewels in the backpack of an official in October 2021 from the Ministry of Mining and Energy, returning from a business trip to the Middle East.

Former head of the ministry Bento Albuquerque told the newspaper that a second set of jewelry, including a watch and pen by luxury Swiss brand Chopard, was also undeclared by the government delegation at the airport.

That would mean that the second package got into the country unnoticed.

According to media reports, the former president had withheld a watch, pen and other luxury items because they were personal gifts and because he was acting within the law.

Bolsonaro’s legal department asked the police to place the items in the custody of the court “pending a later decision thereon,” G1 news agency said.

A judge at Brazil’s Federal Audit Office (TCU), which oversees government coffers, last week ordered Bolsonaro and Albuquerque to give investigators testimonies as to whether the jewels were personal gifts or gifts to the nation and why they were not properly declared.

Bolsonaro lost re-election to another four-year term in October and has been in Florida for two days before his left-wing successor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, took office on Jan. 1, 2023.

Judge Augusto Nardes ordered Bolsonaro “not to wear, use, or transfer ownership of any item from the collection.”

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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