Brazilian authorities on Thursday arrested a man sought as part of an investigation into allegedly suspicious movements of money he made while a driver for Flavio Bolsonaro, a Brazilian senator and son of President Jair Bolsonaro.
Fabrício Queiroz was arrested as part of a joint operation between public prosecutors of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states, the Rio prosecutors’ office said in a statement. Images on local television showed police escorting him out of a property in Atibaia, a town in Sao Paulo’s interior.
The investigation began when the government’s watchdog for financial transactions detected suspicious movements in the bank account of Queiroz, according to authorities. It is suspected the money may form part of a corruption scheme involving appropriation of salaries from phantom employees of Flavio Bolsonaro’s office while he was a lawmaker in Rio state’s legislature.
The financial regulator has said that many of the payments to Queiroz came on pay days for people on Flavio Bolsonaro’s payroll. In December, Rio prosecutors carried out searches at 24 properties, including a chocolate shop owned by Bolsonaro.
In the past, Flavio Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing. President Bolsonaro has said that prosecutors and Brazilian media are trying to drag his son’s reputation through the mud in order to damage his administration.
In recent months, “Where is Queiroz?” became a rallying cry for Bolsonaro opponents who were dismayed that the former driver continued to elude authorities.