Former Brazilian President Indicted for Money Laundering

( – Jair Bolsonaro, the former president of Brazil has been slapped with an indictment on charges of money laundering, embezzlement, and criminal association.

The indictment follows a charge from Brazil’s Federal Police that the Bolsonaro allegedly attempted to smuggle $3 million worth of jewelry into the country. Police allege that Bolsonaro violated the country’s import law that stipulates that citizens bringing in goods that are worth more than $1,000 declare the said items with the country’s customs officials, as well as pay a 50% tax for all items valued above $1,000.

Furthermore, Brazilian authorities allege that the former president sold two luxury watches he received, supposedly as a gift, from the government of Saudi Arabia in 2019. Bolsonaro reportedly netted $68,000 from the sale of the two luxury watches, which were allegedly sold on his behalf by Mauro Cid, one of the former chief executive’s most trusted aides, to a store in the U.S. Brazilian law stipulates that since the watches were a gift, it was exempt from taxes and fees, but would have to be kept in the presidential collection – barring Bolsonaro from keeping them as his own, much less from selling them.

The indictment marks the second formal accusation against the former Brazilian chief executive. However, Bolsonaro has long been mired in legal troubles since his failed re-election bid in 2022.

One of the most serious allegations is that Bolsonaro plotted a coup aimed at forcibly removing Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the man who replaced the former chief executive as president. Investigators are also looking into the possibility that he was involved in the riot on January 8, 2022 that saw the presidential palace and the Supreme Court ransacked.

The highest electoral court in Brazil also recently ruled that Bolsonaro used government resources to sow distrust in the country’s elections in an attempt to undermine the inevitability of his loss to da Silva. The ruling resulted in Bolsonaro being barred from running for any public office until 2030.

The former commander-in-chief of Brazil has denied all the charges against him, and have chalked down all his legal troubles to political persecution.

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