Former Brazilan President and his associates continue to face Law Enforcement with the latest probe on the Fake Vaccine Cards.
Former President, Jair Bolsonaro’s home at the Brazilian Capital was raided by Brazilian police as a part of a probe into the leader’s COVID-19 vaccination records. It was also revealed that the leader’s trusted associates were also arrested by the police as well as his cell phone was ceased as a part of the investigation.
The Brazilian Police stated that they were investigating a scheme for the insertion of “false data” in the national COVID-19 database between November 2021 and December 2023. The police also issued 16 search warrants and 6 preventive arrest warrants in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro for the investigation. No names were mentioned by the Brazilian Police.
The leader confirmed the information about the raid on his residence in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. In his statements, he emphasised the fact that he never took a COVID vaccine as well as denied his involvement in faking the vaccine records.
Details of the Ongoing Probe
The Supreme Court of Brazil showed some documents to the Brazilian federal police which contained evidence of tampering with Bolsonaro’s vaccine records during the former president’s final days as the head of state. It coincided with the leader’s visit to the USA, a place where foreign nationals are required to arrive with their vaccination records.
The existence of such documents was a contrast to the leader’s stance. Bolsonaro had scepticism towards the pandemic and promised to never get vaccinated, was able to get registered as a vaccinated person in the health records which were made public in February 2023.
The Supreme Court of Brazil, which is investigating the case has released an arrest warrant for Mauro Cid. Cid was one of the personal assistants of the former president during his time in office and continued to work for him after the end of his term. Bolsonaro’s personal security officers Max Guilherme and Sergio Cordeiro were also arrested as a part of the investigation. The duo continued to stay with the leader and are also accused of falsifying their vaccine records before they flew to the United States with Bolsonaro.
The Brazilian Police showed evidence from the court documents that Cid designed a scheme which enabled the falsifying of records and showed that Bolsonaro was registered as vaccinated against COVID on December 21, 2022. The entry was made public via a health office based in Rio de Janeiro. As per the Documents, The records were mysteriously removed after a week.
Public Statements Given
As per the police statement, the scheme facilitated the issuing of vaccine certificates and was able to use the documents to surpass the circumvent restrictions imposed by public authorities in Brazil and the United States. Moreover, the statement elaborates upon the reason for the action which is to main the debate of bashing vaccination against COVID-19 for ideological reasons.
Valdemar Costa Neto, the head of the Liberal Party, where Bolsonaro hails from gave out a statement on social media, supporting the leaders’ innocence in the investigation.
Other Investigations on the Leader
The vaccine probe is one of the multiple investigations in which Bolsonaro is involved. The investigations also include charges of alleged voter suppression, his attacks on the legitimacy of Brazilian elections, and his embezzlement of foreign gifts.
He was on vacation in the US and returned to the country at the end of March when the investigations began and the government urged him to return for taking part in the judicial process.
The leader is currently involved in a probe regarding the January 8 storming of the Parliament in which his supporters desecrated the Supreme Court, Parliament and the Presidential Palace.
The leader has denied any wrongdoing in those cases and his party has been bashing the current government led by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for suppressing their voices. However, if all the charges against him are proven right, Bolsonaro will be ineligible to run for office for a period of 8 years and will not be able to run for office in 2026.