According to reports, Chico Rodrigues a close associate to President Jair Bolsonaro who worked with him for more than two decades was caught with money hidden in his underwear during a police investigation into the misuse of coronavirus response funding.
DW.com reported Brazil’s Communications Ministry as having said in a statement on Thursday that federal police raided the senator’s house in the northern state of Roraima as part of a probe into the alleged misappropriation of 20 million reais ($3.6 million, or around €3 million).
Several major national newspapers, citing unnamed sources, reported that officers found 100,000 reais in Rodrigues’ home and more than 30,000 reais in his underwear, including “between his buttocks,” the news portal further reported.
Brazilian internet portal UOL cited a police report as revealing that the senator was caught with the money in his underwear due to a “large rectangular volume on the back of his robes.”
“When asked for the third time, with a lot of anger, Senator Chico Rodrigues put his hand in his underwear and pulled out other bundles of money,” the portal added.
Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso has suspended Chico Rodrigues from the senate for 90 days as a punishment for the embarrassing conduct, saying the Senate could determine if the suspension was permanent.
“The police team possesses a video of the second personal search that was carried out,” Barroso wrote in the ruling.
“However, in this case, considering the manner in which the money was hidden by Senator Chico Rodrigues — quite deeply in his underwear — I will not reproduce these images in this report so as not to cause greater embarrassment.”
Responding to the development, Rodrigues issued a statement to confirm that his house was raided.
He however maintained that he was innocent of the accusation being leveled against him.
“My home was invaded for having done my job as a lawmaker, getting resources for the state to combat COVID-19,” read the statement. “I believe in justice and I will prove that I have nothing to do with any illicit act.”