The Brazilian federal police investigating corruption
allegations against former President Jair Bolsonaro, have accused him of receiving over $70,000 cash gift and two luxury watches from Saudi Arabia while in office.
The fresh allegation is said to be a big blow in the defence of the embattled Bolsonaro who has been battling to clear his name since he was voted out of office.
According to local media, officers raided the homes and offices of several people purportedly involved in the case, including a four-star army general on Friday in a bid to find incriminating evidence against Bolsonaro who has denied any wrongdoing involving the gifts.
A Federal Police officer said the force was seeking authorisation to access the personal banking and financial information of Bolsonaro.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity told journalists the Federal Police had asked for help from the FBI.
Bolsonaro’s lawyers, in a statement, said that he would authorise Brazil’s judiciary to have access to his banking records.
“President Bolsonaro has never embezzled or misplaced any public assets,” it said.
“The amounts obtained from sales of luxury items were transformed into cash and then became personal assets of the former president through middle people and without entering the formal banking system.”
He added that an investigation has also started into the former President’s link to a rampage by his supporters in the national capital after he left office as well as acts during the presidential election.
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