24 December 2019
Officials from Rio de Janeiro’s public prosecutor’s office raided the home of Fabrício Queiroz, a longstanding friend and associate of the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. They also raided the addresses linked to Bolsonaro’s son and ex-wife. Documents and mobile phones were reportedly seized as 24 warrants were executed in the cities of Rio and Resende. The targets included a chocolate shop in Rio partly owned by Flávio Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro defended his son from accusations of corruption and attacked the Rio de Janeiro state prosecutors.
Bolsonaro and his son Flavio are in the picture above.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Flavio Bolsonaro, was a Rio state lawmaker until he became a federal senator in 2019. Prosecutors are accusing Flavio of money laundering and misuse of public funds. During his tenure of 15 years as a lawmaker Flavio ran a phantom employee scheme and diverted part of their salaries to buy two apartments in Rio’s Copacabana neighbourhood and a stake in a chocolate store franchise. According to the prosecutors the scheme was run by Flavio Bolsonaro’s former security chief and aide, Fabrício Queiroz.
On Wednesday, Rio authorities raided 24 properties belonging to the former staff of Flavio Bolsonaro and relatives of President Jair Bolsonaro’s ex-wife. The raids took place after the courts froze a ban on investigation by Brazil’s Supreme Court earlier this year.
A TV report linked Bolsonaro to the murder of Marielle Franco, his most severe critic on the City Council of Río de Janeiro. The Independent newspaper reported that the man accused of killing Marielle Franco met with others at Bolsonaro’s seaside compound hours before the assassination.
Corruption is pervasive in Brazil. More than half of the country’s 81 senators have been accused of corruption.
In a separate probe a Brazilian court has ordered the freezing of more than $104 million in assets of French energy and transportation company Alstom. The firm has previously admitted that some of its employees had paid bribes for contracts in the Bahamas, Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. According to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, the company made under the table payments to Sao Paulo officials to win a no-bid energy contract. Alstom told AFP in an email that it had not been notified of the court action and reiterated that the company adheres to Brazilian law. Industryweek reported.