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Brazilian police raid home of former President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian federal police raided the home of former President Jair Bolsonaro early Wednesday looking for evidence on allegations that he tampered with coronavirus documents.

Bolsonaro is a target of Operation Venire, a federal investigation into the alleged forgery of vaccine certificates. The former president allegedly falsified his vaccination certificate and the vaccination cards of relatives and advisors to gain entry to the US.

The investigation led to the raid and the seizure of his cell phone.

“I never mentioned that I had taken the vaccine. I was never asked for a vaccination card in the United States. There is no manipulation on my part,” Bolsonaro said outside his residence in Brasilia, according to Agencia Brasil.

Authorities executed six arrest warrants and 16 raids in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro as part of the operation.

Among those arrested was a former advisor to Bolsonaro, Lieut. Col. Mauro Cid.

The forgery happened between November 2021 and December 2022, according to the investigation.

“With that, such persons were able to issue the respective vaccination certificates and use them to circumvent the sanitary restrictions in force imposed by public authorities (Brazil and the United States) aimed at preventing the spread of contagious diseases,” said Federal Police.

During the height of the pandemic, then-President Bolsonaro was ironclad in dismissing the severity of the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccine.

​​​​​​​Bolsonaro has had different clashes with Brazilian authorities.

The right-wing politician has faced accusations and testified before Federal Police for purposefully spreading false information regarding the legitimacy of current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s election win and gifts of jewelry from the Saudi Arabian crown prince.

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