Brazilian senator allegedly found with cash in his underwear during police raid


Senator Chico Rodrigues, who represents the state of Roraima in the Federal Senate, confirmed that the raid happened in his residence in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima. He has denied any wrongdoing.

According to a Supreme Court order citing the police investigation, police video allegedly confirmed Rodrigues with about 15,000 reais (about $2,700) stuffed into his briefs during their search of his residence. More cash was found by authorities when the senator allegedly “put his hand inside his underwear and took other bundles of money totaling 17,900 reais” the order says, for a complete cache price greater than $5,800.

The decide didn’t authorize the discharge of the movies.

The court docket order, issued on Thursday, suspends Rodrigues for 90 days to make sure compliance with the continued investigation.

CNN Brasil has reached out to Rodrigues’ workplace for remark.

However, in an announcement to the press, Rodrigues steered that the search was an try to tarnish his status. “I had my home invaded for just doing my job as a parliamentarian, bringing resources to fight Covid-19 for the state’s health department,” he wrote.

“I will prove that I don’t have and that I didn’t have anything to do with any wrongdoing,” he wrote.

Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Minister Luis Roberto Barroso wrote that the investigation was obligatory to find out if Rodrigues was “using his parliamentary function to divert money destined to face the biggest pandemic of the last 100 years.”

According to the court docket order, “there are signs of the participation of the senator in criminal organization aimed at deviating values intended for the measures related to Covid-19 in the state of Roraima.” The Federal Police investigators additionally mentioned that “the money found in the senator’s body during the raid has not had their lawful origin proven, being highly likely to result from the crime of embezzlement gains practiced due to overpriced contracts investigated.”

Senate chief Fernando Bezerra Coelho confirmed to CNN Brasil on Thursday that Rodrigues stepped down from his publish as authorities deputy chief, saying Rodrigues wished to focus on defending his status.
Bezerra then knowledgeable Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of Rodrigues’ determination, and his withdrawal from the federal government management place was made official Thursday afternoon.

Federal legislators in Brazil are shielded from felony prosecution in most circumstances by parliamentary immunity.

The raid was a part of a collection carried out by police in their investigation into the doable misuse of public sources earmarked to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged Brazil. More than 152,000 individuals have died, and greater than 5.1 million have been contaminated, making it the nation with the third highest variety of circumstances in the world.

Rodrigues had been chosen as the federal government’s deputy chief by President Bolsonaro, who campaigned for workplace on an anti-corruption platform.

“I say to those who know me: stay calm. I trust in the justice and I will prove that I don’t have and that I didn’t have anything to do with any wrongdoing,” Rodrigues wrote in his assertion.

Speaking to supporters outdoors of his official residence on Thursday, Bolsonaro pointed to the raid as proof of his anti-corruption crackdown, Reuters reported.

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