Items valued at at least BRL 500,000 were delivered to the then president on a trip to Saudi Arabia
the former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) has a 3rd box of jewelry received from the government of Saudi Arabia. In this case, the gift valued at at least R$500,000 was given to the then Chief Executive during a visit to the country in 2019. The State of S. Paulo.
Part of the set:
- brand watch Rolexof white gold and set with diamonds;
- brand pen chopard silver, with encrusted stones;
- pair of cufflinks in white gold, with a brilliant set in the center and other diamonds around it;
- ring in white gold with a diamond in the center and others in the shape of a “baguette” around it;
- “masbaha”, an Arabic rosary in white gold, with pendants studded with diamonds.
The value of R$ 500,000 for the set is an estimate of Estadão. The newspaper had access to a document proving that the box was delivered directly to Bolsonaro when he was on an official trip to Doha, Qatar, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from October 28 to 30, 2019. The other 2 sets of jewels given to the former president by the Saudis were sent through intermediaries (read more below).
Upon landing in Brazil, the items were sent to the private collection of the then president. The parts registration document states that there was no intermediary in the process and that the gift was viewed by the president.
On June 6 of last year, according to data from the Presidency’s system, a request was made for the items to be “forwarded to the office of President Jair Bolsonaro”. Two days later it was confirmed that they were “under the protection of the President of the Republic”.
A newspaper report The State of S. Paulo revealed, on March 3, that the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro would have tried to bring jewelry to Brazil without declaring it to the Federal Revenue. The pieces, valued at BRL 16.5 millionwould be a gift from the government of Saudi Arabia to the then first lady Michelle Bolsonaro.
The set consisted of a necklace, ring, watch and diamond earrings with a certificate of authenticity from Chopard, a Swiss brand of luxury accessories.
The pieces were seized at the Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo. They were in the backpack of an advisor to the then Minister Bento Albuquerque (Mines and Energy), who was part of the federal government’s entourage in the Middle East, in October 2021.
The legislation determines that assets exceeding the value of US$ 1,000 must be declared. In this case, Bolsonaro would have to pay import tax equivalent to 50% of the value of the product and a fine equal to 25% of the total seized item – a total of R$ 12 million.
To enter the country without paying the tax, it was necessary to say that it was an official gift for the First Lady and the President of the Republic. In this way, the jewels would be destined to the Union’s assets.
According to the report, the former head of the Executive tried to recover the jewels 8 times, using Itamaraty and officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and even the Navy, but failed.
Bolsonaro denied the illegality of the pieces and said he was being accused of a gift he neither asked for nor received. Michelle also said she was unaware of the set.
After the publication of the report by the newspaper, the former head of the Special Secretariat for Social Communication in the Bolsonaro government, Fabio Wajngarten, published a series of documents and stated that the jewels would go to the presidential collection.
Despite the letters released by Wajngarten, the Federal Revenue said on March 4 that the Bolsonaro government had not followed the necessary procedures to incorporate the pieces into the Union’s collection.
On March 7, the PF (Federal Police) had access to a document showing the 2nd package of jewelry from Saudi Arabia listed as the former president’s private collection. The new document contradicts Bolsonaro’s version, which stated that the jewelry donated by the Saudi government would be sent to the Union’s collection.
With the PF statement, the former president confirmed that the 2nd Chopard jewelry box was listed as a personal collection. However, he continued to deny the illegality of the pieces.
The former president’s defense delivered the items to Caixa Econômica Federal on Friday (24.mar).
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