Covid’s CPI identified the transfer of R$ 336 thousand made by the FIB Bank to a company in the name of the mother of the lawyer and businessman Marcos Tolentino, who on Tuesday (14) testified to the commission.
Asked about the transfer, Tolentino did not want to answer, resorting to the right obtained in the Federal Supreme Court not to express himself in questions whose answers could incriminate him.
Tolentino’s involvement with FIB Bank, a company that despite its name is not a bank, is one of the main investigation fronts of the CPI. Tolentino denies that he is a “hidden partner” of the FIB Bank, as the CPI suspects (video below).
‘I, Marcos Tolentino, say that I have no participation in society,’ says businessman
The FIB Bank was the institution that issued a guarantee letter of R$ 80.7 million for the contracting, by Necessidade Medicos, of the Indian vaccine Covaxin. The contract with the Ministry of Health for the supply of vaccines ended up terminated after allegations of irregularities.
The R$ 336 thousand represents 96% of the amount paid by the company Needs Medicines to the FIB Bank in return for the institution’s performance as a kind of guarantor in the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin.
The transfer to the company Brasil Space Air Log, which would belong to Tolentino’s mother, by FIB Bank was made on March 23 of this year.
That same day, Need Medicines paid R$ 350 thousand to the FIB Bank, responsible for issuing a letter of guarantee in the contract signed with the Ministry of Health in February this year.
For the top of the commission, the financial transfer is one of the strongest indications of the link between Tolentino and FIB Bank.
The senators believe that the lawyer acted as a “hidden partner” of the guarantor – which he denied this Tuesday (14), during testimony to the CPI.
“This is one of the most critical points in the testimony, because, as I said here before, the financial transactions show that Brasil Space Air Log, a company that actually belongs to Mr. Marcos Tolentino, received R$ 336 thousand of R$ from FIB Bank $350,000 on the same day this amount was paid by Need Medicines. The other R$14,000 went to Wagner Potenza, former President of FIB Bank”, said the commission’s rapporteur, senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL).
The commission also investigates the relationship maintained by Tolentino with politicians – including the leader of the Bolsonaro government in the Chamber, Deputy Ricardo Barros (PP-PR).
Barros drafted an amendment that favored the acquisition of Covaxin by the Brazilian government. The government leader and Tolentino say they maintain a “friendship” relationship, but deny any commercial partnership (video below).
‘I maintain a bond of respect and friendship with him,’ says Tolentino about his relationship with Ricardo Barros
Renan Calheiros also highlighted that Tolentino was a partner at Brasil Space between 2018 and 2020 – after leaving, his mother, 81 years old, remained in the corporate structure.
Amid the questions, Tolentino’s lawyer stated that this Monday (13) – that is, one day before the testimony – he returned to the company’s command.
“The financial transactions between FIB Bank and companies linked to Marcos Tolentino, notably Brasil Space Air Log, show that there is strong evidence, if not proof, that FIB Bank, Pico do Juazeiro and MB Guassu, the last two companies incorporated in name of oranges, belong exactly to Marcos Tolentino”, said the rapporteur.
The CPI has already verified transfers totaling R$1.9 million from the FIB Bank to Brasil Space Air between June 2020 and May 2021. Whenever he was asked about the matter, Tolentino was silent.
The lawyer also remained silent on the question whether Brasil Space participated in the negotiation between Need Medicines and FIB Bank, which would justify the payment.
Earlier, the lawyer denied having any involvement in the acquisition of Covaxin and maintained that he was hospitalized with a serious condition of Covid-19 between February and April of this year – that is, when the contract for the Indian vaccine was signed.
“We have to look for the powers of attorney you have given and to whom you have given them, so that we can know who operated in your place. Because, in the situation you were in, it was humanly impossible for you, in an ICU, to be intubated, and for someone to go there to discuss business with you”, said the chairman of the commission, Omar Aziz (PSD-AM).
During the hearing, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) stated that he found in the Federal Revenue Service that Tolentino has four CPFs canceled and two regulars (video below).
CPI points out that Tolentino has two active CPF numbers
The lawyer denied the information. “I only have one CPF of mine, regular. These others I don’t know about,” he said.
“But then the IRS acted in bad faith? These documents are from the Federal Revenue of Brazil. It’s here: Ministry of Finance, Internal Revenue Service of Brazil”, countered Randolfe.
“Then I will remain silent until this is seen,” replied Tolentino.
“There are five family members who, adding up all these companies, make exactly 32 companies. It’s too much company. And one of them, which belongs to the mother, receives R$ .9 million from the FIB Bank. It is clear that you are the de facto partner of this company”, said Eliziane Gama (Cidadania-MA).
During Tolentino’s testimony, senators approved applications that directly affect the FIB Bank. They are as follows:
- request that the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) investigate all contracts signed by the Union with the FIB Bank;
- request that the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) carry out an audit of all Federal Government contracts with FIB Bank;
- request that all ministries, including the Economy and the Civil House, suspend the letters of guarantee issued by the institution;
- request for information from the Union of Education Workers in the State of Rondônia (Sintero) regarding the precatory negotiated with the FIB Bank.
On Tuesday, the CPI also approved the breach of fiscal and banking secrecy of the Brazil-India Chamber of Commerce, and also asked Coaf for a financial intelligence report on the organ.
In the application, senator Rogério Carvalho (PT-SE) states that, on the eve of the signing of Covaxin’s contract with the Brazilian government, Need Medicines transferred R$ 1 million to the Chamber of Commerce.
According to the senator, there are “serious suspicions that the transfer may have been a reward to the Chamber of Commerce for helping to make an irregular contract viable.”