The former aide-de-camp of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro (PL), Mauro Cid, sent messages in which he demonstrated that he knew of the existence of evidence regarding the illegal appropriation of jewelry received as a gift by the Presidency of the Republic.
Dialogues from a messaging app, obtained and published by columnist Juliana Dal Piva, from the news website Uol, show Cid and Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Fábio Wajngarten, talking shortly after the first reports about the set of necklace, ring, watch and earrings of diamonds received from Saudi Arabia.
“The worst thing is that everything is documented,” said Cid in a message sent last March. He was referring to the denunciations published by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, which revealed a scheme to try to illegally bring the jewelry into Brazil.
The complaint shows that the pieces were found by the Federal Revenue Service in the backpack of Marcos André dos Santos Soeiro, then an advisor to former Minister of Mines and Energy Bento Albuquerque. To bring the items to the country without paying tax, Bolsonaro’s administration would need to declare the set as an official State gift, which was not done.
Investigation into jewelry received by Bolsonaro goes to the STF
In addition to not counting the jewels in the national collection, Bolsonaro’s administration tried to go through the inspection without any type of declaration and the pieces were seized. Until Bolsonaro left the presidency, some attempts were made to recover the objects.
The last of them, in December 2022, was caught on camera and shows a former government employee trying to convince a IRS employee to hand over the pieces. The server did not give in to the influence peddling attempt.
On the same day that the case became public, Mauro Cid and Fábio Wajngarten exchanged several messages. “I’ve never seen so many ignorant people in my life,” wrote Wajngarten, without specifying who he was talking about.
After being informed that the case was documented, he asked Mauro Cid for explanations. The texts sent in response, however, were deleted. Among the messages that were not deleted, Mauro Cid stated that he did not know on what exact date the former president became aware of the existence of the group, but cited the period at the end of last year.
Bolsonaro and the jewelry case: ‘call me corrupt, f***!’
“I can’t say the date. So much so that, in 2022, no one touched it. That’s why it was put up for auction because it stayed for more than a year,” he said, referring to a Revenue auction for items confiscated for tax evasion.
The former aide-de-camp also received questions from Wajngarten about the location of a second set of jewelry, which entered Brazil illegally. Cid gave inconclusive answers: “it must be in some warehouse”, he said.
Days later, the former secretary instructed Mauro Cid to make the pieces available to the Federal Audit Court. According to the Uol report, at no point did the then aide-de-camp mention that the pieces were taken to the United States on a trip Jair Bolsonaro and that Mauro Cid himself tried to sell the jewelry. The attempted illegal transaction was discovered by the PF.
Still according to Uol, Cid and Wajngarten were contacted, but did not comment on the matter.
Editing: Raquel Setz