Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh
Brazilian police on Tuesday carried out raids against a number of businesses that had supported President Jair Bolsonaro’s re-election after a media article said they had discussed the merits of a coup d’état if the far-right candidate lost the election in October, as reported by Reuters.
Justice of the Supreme Court Alexandre de Moraes, who was appointed head of Brazil’s top electoral court last week, directed federal police to execute eight search warrants in five states. The targets were not named by the police.
Under the condition of anonymity, two people with knowledge of the situation claimed the targets of the raids included Meyer Joseph Nigri, chairman of the homebuilder Tecnisa SA, and Jose Isaac Peres, chief executive officer of shopping mall operator Multiplan Empreendimentos Imobiliarios SA.
One of Bolsonaro’s most notable supporters and billionaire Luciano Hang, the founder of the department store chain Havan, claimed he was a target of the operation. He attributed this to news reports that misrepresented his comments made in a group chat.
“An irresponsible article without context put me in this situation,” Hang wrote on Twitter. “I never spoke of a coup … I have always defended democracy and freedom of expression.”
The businessmen belonged to a WhatsApp group that talked about potential electoral fraud and the advantages of a coup d’état if Bolsonaro lost the forthcoming election, according to an article published last week by the Brazilian news outlet Metropoles.
The incumbent has questioned the validity of Brazil’s electronic voting system, raising concerns that he would contest the election results. He is currently trailing the leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in polls.
The sources claim that further businessmen Afranio Barreira Filho, Ivan Wrobel, Jose Koury, Marco Aurelio Raymundo, and Luiz Andre Tissot were the targets of the police raids on Tuesday.
(with inputs from agencies)