Pressure on former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s entourage increased on Monday January 29, as part of the investigation into suspicions of illegal spying on political opponents during his mandate.

“New searches were carried out as a continuation” of an operation that took place on Thursday, “with the aim of investigating a criminal organization within the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN),” the police said. Federal (PF) in a press release. According to the judicial ruling which authorized the searches on Monday in several Brazilian states, one of the targets of these searches was Carlos Bolsonaro, municipal councilor of Rio de Janeiro and second of the four sons of the ex-far-right president .

Investigators suspect ABIN of having used Israeli spyware called FirstMile to spy on hundreds of politicians and public figures during the Bolsonaro presidency (2019-2022). The PF explained in its press release that this “new stage” of the operation launched last Thursday targeted the “political core, to identify the main recipients and beneficiaries of information illegally produced by the ABIN through clandestine acts”.


The judicial ruling, signed by Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes, mentions in particular a request for information from ABIN on investigations “involving the president [Bolsonaro] and three of his sons”. A request made according to investigators in February 2020 by an assistant of Carlos Bolsonaro to a collaborator of Alexandre Ramagem, then head of the intelligence agency, during an exchange of messages on WhatsApp reproduced in the court document.

“One of my sons would never make such a request, and if he had done so, it would have been rejected by Mr. Ramagem,” Jair Bolsonaro said Monday in an interview with CNN Brasil. . “I have never received any information about anyone’s whereabouts. I never needed, nor requested, nor obtained any report from ABIN,” insisted the former president, saying he was a victim of “persecution.” According to him, his son Carlos will be interviewed by the police on Tuesday. But one of the family’s lawyers, Fabio Wajngarten, then explained on

The former head of ABIN, now a federal deputy in Mr. Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party, was the target of one of the twenty-one searches carried out on Thursday as part of this affair.

Leak rumors

On Monday, police went to nine addresses in total, in the states of Rio de Janeiro (Southeast), Goias (Central West) and Bahia (Northeast), as well as in the federal district of Brasilia. Carlos Bolsonaro’s home in Rio de Janeiro and his office at the municipal assembly were searched. Police also went to a residence where Jair Bolsonaro and his first three sons were in Angra dos Reis, a seaside town about 150 km from Rio.

The third son of the ex-president, the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, condemned the “excesses” committed according to him during the searches, denouncing a legal action “illegal in addition to being immoral”. He also denied rumors that the Bolsonaro clan had fled by boat after learning of the searches. “As soon as they knew that the PF was in the residence, Jair and Carlos came home,” he assured. Lawyer Fabio Wajngarten said they had embarked at dawn for a fishing trip. Images from GloboNews television showed police officers leaving the Angra dos Reis house as Jair Bolsonaro and his son Carlos looked on, filmed outside the front door.

The judicial document which gave the green light to the first searches cited Judge Moraes among the people who had been spied on, as did the former president of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia and Camilo Santana, governor of the state of Ceara (north-east). ) at the time and now Minister of Education under left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Sentenced to eight years of ineligibility last year for disseminating false information on the electronic voting system, Jair Bolsonaro, 68, has been surrounded by business, notably for corruption, since he lost the presidential election at the end of 2022 to to Lula.