TCU needs to ask for jewelry back, and Bolsonaro is advised to predict

TCU should order Bolsonaro to return the jewelry that was given to him as a gift by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Monica Bergamo

Sao Paulo-SP

The TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União) should order Jair Bolsonaro (PL) to return the jewelry that was given to him as a gift by the government of Saudi Arabia.

The former president of the republic was advised, in the face of the inevitable, to anticipate and refrain from luxurious caress.

By doing so, he anticipated the TCU’s decision and would have avoided further anxiety caused by reports that members of his government had tried to smuggle goods into Brazil.

When asked, lawyer Frederic Wassef, who represents Bolsonaro, said he could not comment.
The jewels were sent to the country in two boxes, which were transported by the team of then Minister of Mines and Energy Bento Albuquerque.

One of them, with a pair of earrings made of precious stones, a ring, a necklace and a watch, according to the former minister, was intended for the then first lady Michelle Bolsonaro. The cost of the collection will be 16 million rials.


The other package, which includes a watch, pen, cufflinks, a ring and a rosary of sorts, all from the Swiss diamond brand Chopard, was not intercepted by the IRS.

On November 29, almost a month before the end of his mandate, it was handed over to the Planalto Palace and, according to the former president, included in his collection.

Court ministers insist that the items should all be returned by Bolsonaro and included in the collection of the Presidency of the Republic.

They cite a decision approved by the TCU this year recommending that authorities traveling to Qatar with Bolsonaro in 2019 return Cartier and Hublot watches, with prices ranging from R$30,000 to R$100,000.


The pieces were handed over to the travelers by the authorities of the Arab country.

Among others, then ministers Onyx Lorenzo (Casa Civil), Augusto Heleno (Institutional Security Office), Ernesto Araujo (Foreign Relations) and Osmar Terra (Citizenship) received gifts.
Only Onyx Lorenzoni has announced so far that he will return the watch he received as a gift, following TCU’s recommendation.

The TCU, in upholding the decision, stated that the receipt of gifts of high commercial value for personal use by members of a diplomatic mission “exceeds the limits of common sense” and is “inconsistent with the principle of public morality” and that it depends on the delivery of goods to the union.

What applies to Bolsonaro’s former ministers therefore also applies to the former president.


The first minister on the case will be Augusto Nardes, who will report to the representative who questions the receipt of the jewels by the former representative.

Although he has aligned himself with Bolsonaro on some issues, his TCU colleagues argue that the minister should not oppose previous court rulings on gifts received by Brazilian authorities on other occasions.


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