Jair Bolsonaro confirmed that, as President of Brazil, he accepted gifts during official trips, but denied any illegality, after claims he received jewelry from Saudi Arabia during an official trip in 2021.
“President Bolsonaro, acting within the framework of the law, officially declared the very personal goods he received on trips, without any irregularity in his conduct,” according to a note from lawyer Frederic Vassef.
“All acts and events related to President Bolsonaro – contrary to what has been reported by the mainstream media – are in accordance with the law,” the same note reads, adding that Brazilian newspapers receive “certain information from the context, creating misunderstanding and confusion among the public’.
The lawyer’s note comes hours after Brazilian press reported that Jair Bolsonaro had personally received a second package of jewelry from Saudi Arabia, allegedly brought into the country illegally by government officials.
The jewels went to the Presidency collection
According to the newspapers O Estadão and Globo, which consulted the form of the Office of Historical Documentation of the Palácio do Planalto, the packaging of the jewels was imported into the country from Saudi Arabia by the then Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, in October 2021, without to have been declared.
More than a year later, the papers report, on November 29, 2022, the gifts went to the Presidency’s collection and, on the same day, Bolsonaro signed the delivery receipt.
According to these two newspapers, Saudi Arabia offered Bolsonaro a watch, a pen, a pair of cufflinks, a ring and a type of rosary made by the Swiss brand Chopard.
According to Brazilian law, it is mandatory to declare to the tax office any goods entering the country worth more than one million dollars (950 thousand euros).
Zaire Bolsonaro government adviser tried to illegally enter the country with jewelry
The claims come a week after O Estadão revealed that an adviser to Jair Bolsonaro’s government tried to illegally enter the country with 16.5 million reais (3 million euros) worth of jewelry, which Saudi authorities had handed over to then-first lady Michelle . Bolsonaro, in October 2021.
The jewels were seized at Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo after they were found in the backpack of an adviser who was part of Bento Albuquerque’s entourage, and which had not been properly declared.
Bolsonaro tried several times to free those present before the end of his term, but failed, according to the newspaper.
Bolsonaro, who has been in the United States since December, has denied any wrongdoing and said he was being prosecuted for a gift he neither asked for nor was given directly, while the current justice minister, Flavio Dino, ordered the Federal Police to investigate the matter. ..