Cops raided the home of Chico Rodrigues in the northern state of Roraima, Brazil, on Wednesday, October 14, as part of a corruption probe
During the raid, police found 30,000 reais [$5,800] in cash, part of which was discovered in Rodrigues’s underwear, including ‘between his buttocks’
The Brazilian senator is accused of diverting public funds set aside to fight COVID-19 in his home state
Sen. Rodrigues is an ally of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro who accused the media of propaganda and portraying his government as corrupt
A Brazilian senator was reportedly caught hiding money ‘between his but cheeks’ during a police investigation into the diversion of public funds set aside to fight coronavirus in the South American country.
Authorities said they raided the home of Chico Rodrigues in the northern state of Roraima, Brazil, on Wednesday, October 14, as part of a corruption probe.
During the raid, police found 30,000 reais [$5,800], in cash, part of which was discovered in Rodrigues’s underwear, including ‘between his buttocks,’ local media reported whilst quoting sources from the investigation.
According to a Supreme Court order citing the police investigation, police video allegedly showed Rodrigues with about 15,000 reais [about $2,700] stuffed into his briefs during their search of his home.
More money 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 total cache worth more than $5,800.
The federal police said they were trying to dismantle a ‘possible criminal scheme diverting public funds’ set aside to combat the coronavirus outbreak in Roraima state.
Confirming the raid, Sen. Rodrigues who is allied to far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said in a statement that the police ‘did their job carrying out a search as part of an investigation in which I’m cited,’ but made no mention of the cash they found in his underwear.
He also complained that he’d had his ‘home invaded just for doing his job as a legislator’ and insisted he’s innocent.
Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Minister Luis Roberto Barroso wrote that the investigation was necessary to determine 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 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.”
Investigators said 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 leader Fernando Bezerra Coelho confirmed Thursday that Rodrigues stepped down from his post as government deputy leader, to ‘concentrate on defending his reputation.’
President Bolsonaro accused the media of propaganda and portraying his government as corrupt.
‘This operation is a typical example that there’s no corruption in my government, that we’re tackling corruption no matter who it is,’ he said.
President Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 is also being investigated over accusations by his former justice minister, Sergio Moro, that he tried to interfere with police probes to shield members of his family and friends.