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Brasilia, May 4 – Brazil’s Federal Police have raided former President Jair Bolsonaro’s private residence in capital Brasilia and seized his cell phone as part of an investigation into an alleged falsification of Covid-19 vaccination records.
During the search operation on Wednesday, officers also arrested Bolsonaro’s assistant Lt. Col. Mauro Cid as well as two of his security guards,reports Xinhua news agency.
Bolsonaro confirmed the raid to journalists and denied any role in allegedly forging documents, reiterating that he had never taken a Covid vaccine.
In a statement, the Federal Police said that it carried out a total of 16 search and arrest warrants, as well as six preventive detention orders, in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.
The investigation centres around the suspected insertion of false vaccination data in the Health Ministry’s databases between November 2021 and December 2022, it said.
The Federal Supreme Court is overseeing the investigation into the charges, which include violating health regulations and participating in criminal associations.
The former President had returned to Brazil in March after he left for the US following his defeat in the October 2022 presidential election.
After narrowly losing the election to his left-wing rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, he travelled to Florida in December last year after applying for a six-month US tourist visa.
Bolsonaro faces another investigation into whether he incited rioters who stormed the Supreme Court, Congress and presidential palace on January 8, a week after Lula’s inauguration.