Since the beginning of President Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) government in January 2019, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has earned at least R$ 14 million from the exchange rate variation in his offshore company opened in a tax haven , revealed by Pandora Papers.
A survey by the data scientist and journalist Marcelo Soares, gives Lagom Date, shows that the minister’s statements coincided with the rise of the dollar, which benefited his assets abroad. The statements are not directly related to exchange rate variation, but point to a possible conflict of interest.
“The sentences on the timeline only collect statements in which he mentions the exchange rate, not implying a direct relationship with the increases”, ponders Soares. The journalist, however, points out that, “as the financial market works with expectations for the future, statements by economic authorities are usually taken into account in the calculation of investors”.
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The researcher chose three statements made by the minister about the rise of the dollar and crossed the date of the sentences with exchange rate fluctuations. Read the infographic:
According to the documents, Guedes created the Dreadnoughts International Group in 2014 in the British Virgin Islands. In that year he had at least 8 million dollars invested in the company, registered in his name and those of his wife, Maria Cristina Bolivar Drummond Guedes, and daughter, Paula Drummond Guedes. That number rose to $9.5 million the following year, according to the documents.
The calculation of the amount profited from exchange rate fluctuations disregards the possibility that the minister may have sent money to the company abroad after the beginning of Bolsonaro’s term. If this has not happened, the high dollar has guaranteed the minister around R$ 14 thousand per day since he took office.
Guedes’ name came to light in an article published on Sunday (3), a project of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), formed by more than 600 reporters from 151 vehicles in 117 countries and territories.
Pandora Papers investigated millions of documents from tax havens around the world. In Brazil, the Public Agency, Piauí magazine and the Poder360 and Metrópoles websites participated in the investigation.
Public service regulations indicate that the minister would have failed to comply with the procedures demanded of high-ranking federal government officials – which he denies.
For the leader of the opposition in the Chamber, deputy Alessandro Molon (PSB-RJ), this is a “very serious scandal”.
“It directly violates Article 5 of the Code of Conduct of the High Federal Administration and, therefore, should lead to the Minister’s resignation. We, from the opposition, are going to propose the summoning of the Minister and the President of the Central Bank to provide clarifications to the Chamber of Deputies and file for representation in the Federal Public Ministry (first instance) for administrative improbity against both.”
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The leader of the PT’s bench in the Chamber, Deputy Bohn Gass (PT-RS), also manifested. Through your account on Twitter, said that “it’s not a coincidence”.
“Paulo Guedes, Minister of Economy, Campos Neto, President of the Central Bank, have off shores in a Caribbean tax haven”, he posted.
And he drew attention to the fact that businessmen supporting Jair Bolsonaro, Otávio Fakhoury and Marcos Bellizia, investigated for financing the spread of false news, also profit from these companies opened in other countries without paying taxes.
Edition: Leandro Melito