Brazil's VP says Bolsonaro son's transactions are unrelated to government

Brazil's VP says Bolsonaro son's transactions are unrelated to government
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By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The probe involving cash transfers into the account of President Jair Bolsonaro's son are not related to the government, Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Sunday in an interview with Reuters.

"Flavio Bolsonaro has nothing to do with our government," Mourao said, referring to the former Rio de Janeiro lawmaker and senator-elect. Mourao will become interim president on Sunday evening, after Bolsonaro leaves for a trip to join the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mourao also said the investigations have not yet concluded.

Recent news reports showed the Council for Financial Activities Control, known as COAF, found 48 deposits made into the account of Flavio Bolsonaro, one of President Jair Bolsonaro's sons. Flavio has also made a 1 million reais ($266,652) payment.

COAF has also found 7 million reais ($1.9 million) in financial transactions in accounts belonging to Flavio Bolsonaro's former driver, Fabricio Queiroz, over three years, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported on Sunday.

Flavio Bolsonaro declined to comment on Sunday.

The investigations are a new embarrassment for Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist who took office on Jan. 1 vowing to stamp out endemic graft and show zero tolerance to corruption within his government.

The supreme court agreed last week to a request from Flavio Bolsonaro's lawyers to suspend a probe into suspicious payments to his former driver, Fabricio Queiroz. Flavio's lawyers argued that, as a senator-elect, he now enjoys certain legal protections, including that any case involving him should only be decided by the top court.

(Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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