Ex-Brazilian President Bolsonaro Indicted in Undeclared Diamonds Case

Jair Bolsonaro, the former president of Brazil, was indicted on Thursday by the federal police over allegations that he laundered money and was associated with criminals connected to a case that involves diamonds that were undeclared.

The Associated Press cited multiple sources who all confirmed that authorities indicted Bolsonaro in a case involving undeclared diamonds the former president allegedly received in 2019 from Saudi Arabia, which happened while he was still in office.

The AP sources didn’t outline which crimes are included in the indictment, since the Supreme Court in Brazil hasn’t received the charges as of yet.

Federal police’s  accusations against Bolsonaro were first brought forward in August of 2023. They claimed he tried to sneak diamond jewelry into the country, with a total value of about $3 million. AP News also reported that he sold two luxury watches.

Authorities also said that Bolsonaro received almost $70,000 from the sale of those watches, which were also gifts from Saudi Arabia.

The country’s laws state that any individual who enters Brazil must declare all goods that are valued at $1,000 or more. They also must pay a tax that equals half of the items’ values if it’s greater than that amount.

The AP News reported that Bolsonaro could’ve found himself exempt from this tax, with the watches being added to the presidential collection, he still would’ve had to declare them.

Last year, authorities raided the home of the former president as part of a separate investigation that alleged that there were forged records for COVID-19 vaccinations. The former president’s phone was seized as part of that raid, following him visiting America four different times.

Officials were trying to figure out whether Bolsonaro and any of his aides had used fraudulent documents to evade COVID-19 travel restrictions that were in place at that time so they could enter the U.S.

The investigation found that Mauro Cid, a former aide-de-camp for Bolsonaro, sold a Patek Philippe watch and Rolex watch in June of 2022 to a store in the U.S. for $68,000. He confirmed those allegations by signing a plea deal with Brazil’s authorities.

Cid and Bolsonaro were indicted, as well as 10 others that include two lawyers, Fabio Wajngarten and Frederick Wassef.

Bolsonaro hasn’t commented publicly about these new accusations. But, Flavio Bolsonaro, his oldest son, wrote on the social media platform X that the accusations are “blatant and shameless.”

Wassef also commented to AP News, saying he didn’t yet have access to the full reports, and slamming the fact that this was leaked to the media. Wajngarten took to X to claim there’s no evidence to support the allegations.

He wrote:

“The Federal Police knows I did nothing related to what they are investigating, but they still want to punish me because I provide unwavering and permanent defense for former President Bolsonaro.”

The case is obviously still developing, and more information will be known once the Supreme Court officially receives the charges.