RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro state prosecutors on Wednesday carried out searches at 24 properties in an investigation into suspicious movements of money by a former driver of Flavio Bolsonaro, a Brazilian senator and son of President Jair Bolsonaro.
One of the properties raided was a chocolate shop owned by the younger Bolsonaro, according to local media. Prosecutors also carried out searches at properties owned by relatives of Ana Cristina Valle, the ex-wife of Brazil’s president. Prosecutors did not provide details to The Associated Press because the investigation is proceeding under seal.
Flavio Bolsonaro’s lawyer said in comments published by local media that he isn’t concerned and that investigators won’t find anything illegal.
The investigation began when the government’s watchdog for financial transactions detected suspicious movements in the bank account of Bolsonaro’s former driver, Fabrício Queiroz. It is suspected the money may form part of a corruption scheme involving appropriation of salaries from phantom employees of Bolsonaro’s office while he was a lawmaker in Rio state’s legislature.
In the past, President Bolsonaro said that prosecutors and Brazilian media are trying to drag his son’s reputation through the mud in order to damage his administration.