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Brazilian senator allegedly found with cash in his underwear during police raid

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A Brazilian senator was caught with cash allegedly hidden in his underwear during a police raid Wednesday amid an ongoing probe into the possible misuse of funds for the Covid-19 pandemic response.

(CNN)A Brazilian senator was allegedly caught with huge amounts of cash hidden in his underwear during a Federal Police raid on Wednesday, a court order says -- part of a wider ongoing probe into the possible misuse of funds for the Covid-19 pandemic response.

Senator Chico Rodrigues, who represents the state of Roraima in the Federal Senate, confirmed that the raid took place in his home in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima.

According to a Supreme Court order citing the police investigation, police video allegedly showed Rodrigues with about 15,000 reais (about $2,700) stuffed into his briefs during their search of his home.

The court order, issued on Thursday, suspends Rodrigues for 90 days to ensure compliance with the ongoing investigation.

Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Minister Luis Roberto Barroso wrote that the investigation was necessary to determine if Rodrigues was "using his parliamentary function to divert money destined to face the biggest pandemic of the last 100 years. "

According to the court order, "there are signs of the participation of the senator in criminal organization aimed at deviating values intended for the measures related to Covid-19 in the state of Roraima. " The Federal Police investigators also said that "the money found in the senator's body during the raid has not had their lawful origin proven, being highly likely to result from the crime of embezzlement gains practiced due to overpriced contracts investigated. "

Senate leader Fernando Bezerra Coelho confirmed to CNN Brasil on Thursday that Rodrigues stepped down from his post as government deputy leader, saying Rodrigues wanted to concentrate on defending his reputation.

I trust in the justice and I will prove that I don't have and that I didn't have anything to do with any wrongdoing," Rodrigues wrote in his statement.

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