Senator Chico Rodrigues, representing the state of Roraima in the Federal Senate, confirmed that the attack took place at his home in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima. He denied any wrongdoing.
According to the Supreme Court order citing the police investigation, the police video showed Rodrigues with about 15,000 reais (approximately $ 2,700) inserted in his brief while searching for their home. Authorities found more money when the senator “allegedly put his hand inside his underwear and took other bundles of money amounting to 17,900 reais” the order said, for a total cache worth more than $ 5,800.
The judge did not allow the videos to be released.
The court order, issued on Thursday, suspended Rodrigues for 90 days to ensure compliance with the ongoing investigation.
CNN Brasil reached out to Rodrigues̵7; office for comment.
However, in a press release, Rodrigues suggested that the search was an attempt to tarnish his reputation. “I raided my house just for doing my job as a parliamentarian, bringing resources to fight Covid-19 for the state health department,” he wrote.
“I will prove that I do not and I have nothing to do with anything wrong,” he wrote.
Brazil’s Supreme Court Minister Luis Roberto Barroso wrote that an investigation was needed to determine if Rodrigues was “using his parliament to transfer the money set aside to deal with the biggest pandemic in the last 100 years.
According to the court order, “there are signs of the senator’s involvement in the criminal organization aimed at deviating from the amounts allocated for measures related to Covid-19 in the state of Roraima.” Federal Police investigators also said that “the money found in the senator’s body during the raid has not yet been proven their legal origin, which is likely to result from the crime of the siege achievements used due to excessively priced contracts under investigation. “
Brazil’s federal legislators are protected from criminal prosecution in most cases by parliamentary immunity.
The raid is part of a series conducted by police in their investigation into the possible misuse of public resources intended to combat the pandemic coronavirus, which has ravaged Brazil. More than 152,000 people have died, and more than 5.1 million have been infected, making it the country with the third highest number of cases worldwide.
Rodrigues was elected deputy head of government by President Bolsonaro, who campaigned for a position on a platform against corruption.
“I tell those who know me: stay calm. I trust in justice and I can prove I have nothing and have nothing to do with any wrongdoing,” Rodrigues wrote in his statement.