2022 Race

Justice unfreezes assets of pro-Bolsonaro businessmen

Justice assets pro-Bolsonaro businessmen
Luciano Hang was one of the targets of a recent police operation. Photo: Leopoldo Silva/SF

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes on Wednesday unfroze the assets of eight pro-Bolsonaro businessmen investigated for plotting a coup. The Supreme Court press office confirmed the decision to The Brazilian Report.

Justice Moraes wrote that the freeze is no longer necessary because the September 7 celebrations have passed, and that access to businessmen’s banking records “will make it possible to deepen the investigation.”

Brazil celebrated its independence bicentennial on September 7, but the date was hijacked by President Bolsonaro and his supporters as a platform for putschist demonstrations.

The Federal Police carried out an operation on August 23, after news website Metrópoles leaked messages sent by these high-profile businessmen in a WhatsApp group. 

Texts exchanged in the group show that the businessmen defended a coup d’état led by President Jair Bolsonaro in the event of a Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva win in the October elections.

At least two of the businessmen indicated support for the then-upcoming September 7 demonstrations. 

On September 7, 2021, President Bolsonaro told a crowd of supporters in Brasília he would meet with the Council of the Republic, a body the president is required to meet with before asking Congress to declare a state of emergency which suspends several constitutional rights. No such meeting was actually scheduled.