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Brazil police search properties of Bolsonaro's son

January 30, 2024

Carlos Bolsonaro was named as a target in a probe of a suspected illegal spying group targeting political foes during his father's time as Brazilian leader. The former president denies the accusations against his family.

Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to the press as he leaves the Federal Senate in Brasilia on June 21, 2023.
The former president has denied any wrongdoing by members of his familyImage: EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian federal authorities searched on Monday the house and office of Carlos Bolsonaro, the son of former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, over suspected illegal spying on political opponents during his father's presidential term.

The Supreme Court justice and electoral court chief Alexandre de Moraes, an alleged target of the espionage, authorized the raids.

Federal police said Monday's events were the latest phase of their investigation into a "criminal organization set up in the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) to illegally monitor public officials and others."

Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing by his family.

What do we know about the search?

Police said eight warrants were served on Monday in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and two other cities. The raids aimed to identify "the main recipients and beneficiaries of information illegally produced by ABIN through clandestine actions."

The group in question is accused of illegally monitoring citizens and illegally collecting data using an Israeli software called FirstMile during Bolsonaro's four-year term, which came to an end on December 31, 2022. The software is used to track the location of private cell phones.

Those monitored were allegedly targeted for their involvement in investigations related to Bolsonaro's children.

Brazilian TV network GloboNews broadcast images showing the former president and Carlos Bolsonaro outside a house in Angra dos Reis as federal officers departed.

However, a spokesman for the family, Fabio Wajngarten, said on social media that Bolsonaro and his sons were not present at their beach house in Angra dos Reis when police showed up, adding that they had left on a fishing trip early in the morning.

Bolsonaro has encountered several legal woes since he lost a reelection to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2022.

rmt/ (AFP, AP, Reuters)