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Brazil’s federal police on Thursday attempted to confiscate the passport of former President Jair Bolsonaro as part of an investigation into an alleged coup attempt following his 2022 election loss, Reuters reported.
Sources said police visited Bolsonaro’s beach house near the coastal city of Angra dos Reis, requesting he hand over his passport. Bolsonaro family spokesman Fabio Wajngarten said the former far-right leader will comply with the order.
Authorities also issued search warrants for properties linked to Bolsonaro’s allies and arrested four of his closest aides, including his former international affairs advisor, Felipe Martins.
Meanwhile, federal police also released a statement accusing a number of unnamed targets of participating in “a criminal organization that acted in an attempted coup d’etat” aimed at “keeping the then-President of the Republic in power.”
The move comes as authorities launch a probe into an alleged coup attempt last year, when thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed the country’s main government buildings in the capital and called for a military takeover.
The Jan. 8, 2023 incident took place a few months after Bolsonaro lost the 2022 presidential runoff to leftist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who had previously held the office of president. At the time, Bolsonaro had been in the United States and has continuously denied involvement in the capital’s storming.
Even so, Thursday’s operation signals a tightening net around Bolsonaro, his family, and allies for actions related to the unsuccessful reelection effort, the newswire wrote.
Last week, federal police searched properties linked to his son, Carlos Bolsonaro, who is suspected of using illegally collected data to target his father’s rivals.
Bolsonaro has already been deemed politically ineligible until 2030 for spreading election falsehoods, and faces a series of criminal probes that could lead to imprisonment.