Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the STF (Supreme Federal Court), yesterday ordered the removal of Senator Chico Rodrigues (DEM-RR), who hid money in his underwear, from his functions in Congress for 90 days. If the decision is endorsed by the Senate, it is his son, Pedro Arthur Ferreira Rodrigues (DEM-RR), who substitutes for the position.
Pedro Arthur is an administrator, is 41 years old, and accompanied his father frequently in meetings with authorities and events in 2019.
Chico Rodrigues was caught with a large amount of cash in his underwear in his home in Boa Vista, when the Federal Police was executing a search and seizure warrant on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds from parliamentary amendments aimed at combating the covid-19 pandemic. .
The senator was deputy leader of the government in the Senate, but he was removed from office because of the repercussion of the case. He says he will prove his innocence.
Bundles of moneys “in their underwear”
In yesterday’s decision, Minister Barroso cites the report prepared by the Federal Police on the operation. The text indicates that the seizure of the money happened in another moment, since the senator tried to hide part of the amount even after he was initially caught with R $ 15,000, “close to his buttocks”. According to the report, afterwards, another R $ 18,150 was found, totaling more than R $ 33 thousand.
The PF had already found in the safe of the house amounts that totaled R $ 10 thousand and US $ 6 thousand (about R $ 33.6 thousand, in today’s price). In total, approximately R $ 77 thousand were apprehended, according to the description of the PF sent to Minister Barroso. The police official reported that “the money bills found in the senator’s body have not been lawfully proven”.
Also according to the judicial decision, the PF requested the preventive arrest of Chico Rodrigues, but the PGR (Attorney General’s Office) manifested contrary to the request, claiming that it is not possible to know, for now, the origin of the money.
Barroso, who had already authorized the PF operation carried out yesterday, justified in his decision that the removal of Rodrigues is necessary because of the “concrete gravity of the crimes investigated” and also to prevent the senator from using his parliamentary functions to hinder the investigation.
In a description made by the PF and which supported Barroso’s decision, the agents who participated in the seizure of the money said that the senator was caught with the money because it had “a large rectangular volume on the back of the robes”.
According to a report by police chief Wedson Cajé Lopes, who participated in the action, while searching the safe in the senator’s son’s room, Rodrigues asked to go to the bathroom. Wedson then accompanied Rodrigues and noticed the volume in the senator’s clothes, who wore “blue shorts (like pajamas) and a yellow shirt”.
“Considering the volume and its format, Deputy Wedson suspected that the Senator was hiding values or even some cell phone,” says the text.