The Federal Police of Brazil found 30 thousand reais (4.6 thousand euros) hidden between the buttocks of Senator Chico Rodrigues in an operation that investigates embezzlement of public money to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chico Rodrigues is deputy leader of the Government of the Brazilian President, in the upper house of Congress, and was a federal deputy for 20 years – exactly the same as Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he has “almost a stable union” with the senator.
The president says he has “almost a stable union” with Senator Chico Rodrigues, who reciprocates by talking about the “rescue of morality” brought by Bolsonaro. pic.twitter.com/eXVDn149YT
– Exile (@exile) October 15, 2020
The seizure of the money hidden between the senator’s buttocks was revealed by Crusoé magazine on Wednesday night.
Chico Rodrigues was one of the targets of the operation “Operation Desvid-19” carried out at the request of the Federal Comptroller General (CGU), a supervisory body, in the state of Roraima.
In this operation, police officers are investigating an alleged criminal scheme to embezzle public funds by forwarding tenders to the Roraima Health Department, which would involve approximately 20 million reais (3 million euros) that should be used to combat Covid-19.
CGU said in a statement that it identified several indications of inflated prices in contracts made by the Roraima Department of Health to purchase protective equipment for health professionals of doctors and nurses and rapid tests to detect Covid-19, among other items .
“The police inquiry pointed out that resources were directed, through fraudulent bidding processes, to specific companies, who were then hired by the Secretariat ”, highlighted a statement issued by CGU on Operation Desvid-19.
The state of Roraima received around 171 million reais (26 million euros) from the central government through the National Health Fund (FNS) in 2020.
Of this total amount, 55 million reais (8.3 million euros) were transferred specifically to combat Covid-19.
“Operation Desvid-19” fulfilled seven search and seizure warrants in the city of Boa Vista, capital of Roraima.
In a statement, Chico Rodrigues has already come to assure that he is “calm” and that he was only targeted in the operation for having done his “work as a parliamentarian”.
“I have a clean past and a decent life. I have never been involved in scandals of any size. If there have been lawsuits against me in the past, it has been proven in court that I am innocent. That’s how it is in public life, and over the course of my 30 years in politics, I met a lot of bad people in order to tarnish my image. Even more so in a troubled electoral period as the election is being held in our capital, ”he added.
For his part, Jair Bolsonaro has already made it public that, despite being deputy government leader in the Senate, Chico Rodrigues is not part of his administration. “My government is ministers, state-owned companies and official banks”, he assured the supporters gathered at the door of the Palácio da Alvorada.
Along the way, the Brazilian president took the opportunity to reiterate his fight against corruption: “Part of the press is accusing me of the guy being my friend, [dizendo que] I put him as vice-leader, which would say that I don’t fight corruption. We are fighting corruption, it doesn’t matter to the suspicious person ”.