By Xiu Ying
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An Air Force sergeant who was to work on President Jair Bolsonaro’s flight was arrested on Tuesday, June 25th, for carrying drugs in his luggage.
The arrest took place on a stopover in Spain while traveling to Japan. The incident, which caused discomfort to the Palácio do Planalto, prompted the Brazilian government to shift the President’s stop from Seville to Lisbon.
In his twitter, Bolsonaro said that he had instructed the Minister of Defense, General Fernando Azevedo e Silva, to provide “immediate cooperation with the Spanish police, in the prompt clarification of the facts, by cooperating in all stages of the investigation, as well as setting up a State Policei inquiry.”
Furthermore, according to him, if the officer’s involvement in the crime is confirmed, the sergeant will be “tried and convicted under the law.”
The fact that Bolsonaro spoke out on the case caused concern to presidential advisors, who felt that the president had brought the problem into the Planalto when the matter was being dealt with away from it.
The arrested sergeant boarded in Brasília, on the presidency’s reserve plane, the Embraer 190, of the Air Force’s Special Transport Group, carrying three military personnel for the presidential mission.
The first crew, which included a pilot and a co-pilot, took over Bolsonaro and his team’s flight in Lisbon, on an Airbus 319, to complete the second leg of the trip to Osaka.
The arrested military officer, a career sergeant, was not part of this group. He is part of the second crew, serving on the reserve plane. The arrested military officer does not work for the presidency, but for FAB, the Brazilian Air Force, and on the flight, he acts as a flight attendant.
According to the Estado newspaper, the issue arose after inspection of all luggage in Seville was carried out, and the military personnel who took over the technical task of the presidential and reserve aircraft in Lisbon were released.
The Planalto and Defense have not disclosed the type and amount of drugs found in the sergeant’s suitcase but according to AFP press agency Spanish police found 39-kilo cocaine in 37 packets
In a note, the Defense Ministry and FAB both reject illegalities of this nature and that they will give priority to clarifying the case and enforcing the applicable regulations.
(Source Estado de S. Paulo)