Jair Bolsonaro returns controversial gifts from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Jair Bolsonaro returns controversial gifts from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

March 25, 2023, 8:24 AM

March 25, 2023, 8:24 AM

The former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro returned this Friday (03.24.2023), through his lawyers, a package of jewels given by Saudi Arabia after the scandal caused by their alleged irregular entry into the country, as well as a rifle and a pistol that he received from United Arab Emirates.

The jewels were delivered by the ex-president’s lawyers at a public bank in Brasilia, after an instruction ordered the previous week by the Court of Accounts, the Brazilian State’s supervisory body.

The collection of the luxurious Swiss brand Chopard, valued at about $75,000, includes a watch, a pen, cufflinks, a ring, and some kind of rosary. Press versions, however, indicate that the gold watch -because it is part of a limited production of 35 units- has a value close to 150,000 dollars.

The court’s decision was based on well-founded suspicions that the entry into the country of these jewels was made irregularly and without proper declaration to the Treasury and that, in addition, these should form part of the national public patrimony and not be in the possession of the retired Army captain.

Other jewels, which the Government of Saudi Arabia gave to Michelle de Paula Firmo, Bolsonaro’s wife, and which were intercepted by the Treasury – when one of the advisers of a minister of the far-right leader tried to bring it into the country in 2021 – will also have to be delivered to the public bank.

The expensive gift for the ex-president’s wife, also from the exclusive Swiss brand and which includes a necklace, a ring, a watch and diamond earrings, is valued at around 3.2 million dollars.

In its decision, the audit institution also ordered the former ruler to hand over a rifle and a pistol that he received from United Arab Emirates in 2019 and ordered an audit of all the gifts he received during the four years of his Government (2019-2022). Unlike the jewels, the two weapons were registered with the Treasury and the Army.

The lawyers of the far-right leader, who were waiting for an authorization from the Army to mobilize the weapons, handed them over this Friday afternoon at the Federal Police headquarters in Brasilia. Bolsonaro assured that he will return the weapons with “heartache”as he said in an interview with a local radio station.

The former Brazilian president has experienced the scandal from a distance because, since December 30, 2022, he has been in the United States in a sort of “self exile” to which he intends to end in this same month of March when he returns to Brazil, although the date has not yet been fully confirmed.

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