July 9th, 2020.
Ricardo Nunes, founder of one of Brazil’s major retail chains, Ricardo Eletro, was arrested yesterday, along with his daughter, on tax evasion and money laundering charges. Facebook has taken off the air several pages associated with Bolsonaro family advisors due to the use of fake and duplicated accounts to post political content. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has blocked several accounts related to Bolsonaro’s main left-wing opponents, the Workers’ Party, due to a practice known as bulk messaging used to spread political propaganda to several users and groups at once. A new cyclone has hit the southern Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, causing further damage to the region. Finally, Park Won-soon, the mayor of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, was found dead, after being reported missing.
Take a look at our highlights.
Major Brazilian retail chain founder arrested for tax evasion
Yesterday, Civil Police officers arrested Ricardo Nunes, founder of one of Brazil’s largest retail chains, Ricardo Eletro, along with his daughter, Laura. The company’s chief financial officer, Pedro Daniel Magalhães, has been declared a fugitive from justice. The trio has been accused of tax evasion and money laundering in the state of Minas Gerais, in figures which may amount to R$ 400 million. As well as the arrest warrants, the operation, baptized “Straight with the Owner”, is serving other search and seizure arrests in São Paulo and Minas Gerais, one of them for Ricardo’s brother, Rodrigo Nunes.
Facebook takes down pages associated with Bolsonaro family advisors
Social media giant Facebook announced yesterday it has taken off the air a network of accounts and fake pages from Brazilian users allegedly close to president Jair Bolsonaro and the political party for which he ran in the last presidential elections, PSL. According to the company, among these users are people who worked in the cabinets of Bolsonaro himself, as well as two of his sons, senator Flávio Bolsonaro and federal congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, and were using fake and duplicated accounts to post politics-related content. The details of the investigation which resulted in the blocking of these accounts were posted by the Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Lab, an institution which independently analyzes pages removed by Facebook.
Workers’ Party has WhatsApp accounts blocked for bulk messaging
One of Brazil’s major left-wing parties, the Workers’ Party (PT), had nine of its WhatsApp accounts blocked by the social messaging app due to a practice known as bulk messaging, which is strictly forbidden by the platform. After being accused of political spam, four of them have already been restored. Party president Gleisi Hoffman told the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo that the accounts were blocked within the scope of the fake news bill currently being discussed by the Brazilian Congress, which PT supported. The politician sent a letter to Facebook threatening to take the case to courts if the company does not present the reasons which led to the banning of the accounts.
New cyclone causes more damages in southern Brazil
A new cyclone, with strong winds and rains, hit southern Brazilian states between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, causing damages in several cities. The metropolitan region of the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, as well as some of the state’s major cities, like Caxias do Sul, and Novo Hamburgo, were affected, as well as the southern areas of Santa Catarina. Several communities were left isolated due to floods and landslides. The meteorological phenomenon was caused by the formation of a cold front, associated with an extratropical cyclone. Over R$ 304 million in damages have already been caused to the agricultural sector.
Seoul mayor found dead after going missing
Park Won-soon, mayor of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, has been found dead in the mountains surrounding the city, hours after he was reported missing and a massive police operation was launched to find him. Park was reported missing by his daughter at around 5 p.m. today, who told the police he had left their home four or five hours earlier, and his phone was turned off. She added that he had also left her a farewell message. Park, who was one of the likely candidates to run for the office of president in the 2022 South Korean elections, was a former human rights lawyer who championed city welfare projects and became a symbol of reform.