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  • Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (L) and President Jair Bolsonaro (R) in Brasilia, Brazil Nov. 21, 2019.

    Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (L) and President Jair Bolsonaro (R) in Brasilia, Brazil Nov. 21, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 December 2019
Opinion

Authorities investigate the suspicion that Flavio Bolsonaro grabbed a portion of his advisors' salaries.

As part of a case of money laundering and diversion of public funds, Brazil's Prosecutor's Office Wednesday raided properties of several former advisors of Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the son of President Jair Bolsonaro.

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The operation occurs as a result of an investigation against him and dozens of former collaborators during his time as a regional lawmaker of Rio de Janeiro from 2003 to 2018.

Among those involved in this case are also nine relatives of Ana Cristina Valle, who was married at that time to Governor Jair Bolsonaro.​​​​​​

Brazilian authorities initiated investigations after detecting suspicious bank movements in Flavio's accounts and in those of 74 people who were hired at the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly, where they formally appeared as Senator Bolsonaro's advisors.

One of this case's key figures is Flavio's former chief of security, Fabricio Queiroz, whose bank account received about US$300,000 for a year, which is considered suspicious because his annual income did not exceed US$60,000.​​​​​​

"Bolsonaro's relatives who entered the money diversion scheme will have to testify this week. The investigation into the scheme of corruption, nepotism, wage deviation, and money laundering related to the Bolsonaro clan finally progresses."

Through actions carried out by Queiroz​​​​​​​, Flavio Bolsonaro hired "ghost" officials for his cabinet. Once these contracts were consummated,​​​​​​​ they ​​​​​​​grabbed the salaries of non-existent officials​​​​​​​.

Last July, the Supreme Court president Jose Dias, determined the cessation of all open investigations based on suspicious bank or tax data obtained without prior judicial authorization.​​​​​​​

That decision temporarily suspended the investigations against Flavio Bolsonaro and his "advisors." ​​​​​​​

In Rio de Janeiro, the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) reveals details of Flavio Bolsonaro's money laundering scheme. The MP report points out that Flavio and his wife bought two apartments in Copacabana to launder money and sold them for a 300 percent higher value.

In November, however, the case was analyzed at the plenary of the court, where the judges authorized, by eight votes in favor and three against, the use of data provided by official agencies.

"The judicial investigation into the Bolsonaro Clan's money laundering and public fund diversion scheme began in July 2018, but it was kept in stealth perhaps (to say the least) to guarantee the victory of the far-right presidential candidate," the Argentinean outlet Pagina 12 recalled.

Currently, the Rio de Janeiro Prosecutor's Office is also investigating whether Councilman Carlos Bolsonaro hired ghost employees in his cabinet at the Municipal Chamber.​​​​​

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