The Federal Police (PF) opened Operation Salvo Conduto and carries out seven search warrants on Wednesday, 10.
The search warrants are linked to the apprehension of $16 million in cash and luxury watches from the entourage of Equatorial Guinea's Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang, on September 14.
On that day, 20 suitcases were seized. Inside there were 20 watches with diamonds valued at US $ 15 million, alongside US $ 1.4 million and R $ 55,000 in cash. This happened at the Viracopos Airport in Campinas (SP).
The searches are carried out in the cities of São Paulo, Hortolândia (SP), Jundiaí (SP) and the Federal District. The judicial orders were issued, at the request of the PF, by the 6th Criminal Division of the Federal Court in São Paulo.
In a statement, the PF said 35 federal police officers are involved in the operation, which investigates facts, gathered in September of this year, pertaining to two police inquiries, that deal with facts involving the person being investigated.
Guinea's Vice President has been convicted in France for acquiring properties with public money diverted from his country of origin and investigated in the United States, for money laundering and misuse of public resources, among other crimes.
The first police investigation was started in March 2018, after the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office had sent information, in the previous month, to the PF to initiate an investigation on the crime of money laundering due to evidence of concealment of property related to the purchase, in 2008, of a duplex apartment located in the Jardins neighborhood, in São Paulo.
Read more in IstoÉ