BRASILIA – The rapporteur of Parliamentary Inquiry Committee (CPI) of Covid, in the Senate, Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL), presented this Tuesday, 31, images that would show the motorcycle courier of the company VTC Operadora Logística (VTCLog) Ivanildo Gonçalves Silva at a Bradesco branch, in Brasília, at the same time as five bank slips attributed to the former director of the Ministry of Health’s Logistics Department Roberto Ferreira Dias were paid. After entering the CPI’s crosshairs, Dias was fired from the portfolio at the end of June.
Boletos paid on behalf of Dias were issued by Voetur, a business group to which VTCLog belongs. The CPI still seeks to understand why the VTCLog motorcycle courier would have paid slips from the former director of the ministry.
The commission would hear the motorcycle courier Ivanildo Silva today, but the testimony was canceled after Minister Kassio Nunes Marques, from Federal Court of Justice (STF), grant him the right not to attend the hearing. A report by the Financial Activities Control Council (Coaf) points out that the motoboy withdrew millions of reais in cash for VTCLog.
The images presented by Renan Calheiros show a man inside a bank branch, near a revolving door, with a helmet on his arm, on June 22nd and 24th. The senator also presented bank statements of June 22, in the amount of R$ 6 thousand, and of June 24, in the total amount of R$ 13,525.31.
Calheiros said the man in the bank’s system image is Silva. In the rapporteur’s assessment, the presence of the motoboy at the bank, on the same day and at the same time that tickets were being paid, “truly proves the collusion that exists behind the scenes of the Ministry of Health in the exact fight against the pandemic”.
“We have just received vehement indications that it was Ivanildo, the motoboy, who paid the debt slips with Roberto Ferreira Dias’ Voetur”, said the senator.
Voetur provides tourism services, and the vice president of the CPI, Randolfe Rodrigues (REDE-AP), stated that the slips were issued by the company. “As if Voetur had provided services to Mr. Roberto Ferreira Dias”, declared the senator. The CPI gathered documents indicating that Voetur would have issued at least nine bank slips in Dias’ name. The slips held by the commission range from R$ 782.22 to R$ 7.5 thousand and have expiration dates between May 18th and July 6th this year.
One of the bank statements presented by the rapporteur is from June 22 and records the payment of a bill of R$ 6 thousand, due on the following day.
The other statement is from the 24th of June and indicates the payment of 4 slips of Days. One for R$ 4,193.32, another for R$ 2,186.97, another for R$ 785.22 and another for R$ 6,359.80. The four slips expire on June 25th.
VTCLog was targeted by Covid’s CPI on suspicion of irregularities in an additive of R$ 18 million for an ongoing contract with the Ministry of Health. National Immunizations (PNI).
Roberto Dias’ defense stated that, for the time being, he will not speak out.
In a statement, VTCLog said that “there was never any deposit” by the company or any subsidiary of the group in Roberto Dias’ account. “What the maliciously edited images do not show is that the former director, as well as thousands of consumers, is a user of the services of Voetur Turismo, a company belonging to the group,” he said.
According to the company, the former director “made payments – and did not receive or was a beneficiary in his accounts – of any advantage on the part of Voetur”. VTCLog stated that Roberto Dias used two forms of payment, “electronic transfer (therefore, traceable) and payments from him to the company in cash”.
“Currently, there are open payments (R$ 20 thousand), therefore Roberto Dias is in default and the charges were duly protested,” he said.
“Voetur is the creditor and non-payer of any recourse to the former director. We regret the distortion and haste in the treatment of such sensitive data. The company reiterates the correctness of all its acts and reserves the right to make a technical defense in depth in the due spheres.”
The president of the CPI, Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), said in today’s session that the motorcycle courier is not investigated by the commission, but is a witness. After the decision of Nunes Marques, the CPI top tried to hear the CEO of VTCLog, Andréia Lima, but she did not confirm presence.
Aziz stated, at the beginning of the hearing, that, “now, the CPI will focus on the testimony of all the people at VTCLog. All without exception. We will go deep into VTCLog until the CPI concludes”.
“If Dr Andréia really wanted to clarify, she was here today. She would have taken a plane at 7 am in São Paulo and would have been here at 9 am. The truth is that there is a very long delay and we are going deep now.” For Renan, Nunes Marques’ decision was a “setback”.
In a statement, VTCLog stated that the habeas corpus granted to the motoboy “reinforces the role played by the employee Ivanildo Gonçalves da Silva, since he only performs displacement services, including bank diligences, acts that are necessary for the company’s management, not thus performing no function that could collaborate with the investigations of the CPI of Covid-19”.
According to the company, Andréia Lima “is available to contribute to the work of the CPI, but due to the previous travel schedule related to the logistics of distribution of vaccines”, he could not attend the Senate today.
“However, the receipt of this specific call was made, after 22:00 on Monday, on the eve of urgent tasks that require your presence in the capital of São Paulo,” informed the company. “Andréia Lima has full respect for the work of the CPI, so she has always been and is available for prior notice that observes the statutory deadline that applies to each and every citizen.”