Jair Bolsonaro readies to head back home to Brazil after three-month stay in the United States

The 68-year-old leader, embroiled in various controversies, has been accused in recent weeks of having illegally brought into Brazil jewelry offered by the government of Saudi Arabia. Two boxes were brought back by a delegation from his former Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, after an official visit to Riyadh in which the former president had not taken part, in October 2021. One of them, a set of diamonds worth three million euros which had not been declared beforehand, was seized by customs at Guarulhos International Airport, near Sao Paulo. The other package, containing male jewelry valued at more than 70,000 euros, could be given to Jair Bolsonaro.

In Brazil, any goods over $1,000 must be declared to customs before entering the country. The owner of this good must then pay an import tax, an amount equivalent to half of the excess of the 1000 dollars. If the object is not declared, a heavy fine must be paid in addition. An exception is provided for by law: state gifts. But if necessary, the objects are intended for the official collection of the presidency, and not for elected officials – the Bolsonaro couple, in this case – in a personal capacity. Only gifts “of a highly personal nature or of minimal monetary value” can be retained by the Head of State, recalled the Court of Auditors of Brazil (TCU).

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