Suspect in 'Porta dos Fundos' Attack Flees to Russia

Police investigate 'participation and perhaps leadership' by Eduardo Fauzi

Rio de Janeiro

Businessman Eduardo Fauzi Richard Cerquise, who police suspect participated in the Porta dos Fundos attack on Christmas Eve, fled to Russia on Sunday (29).

He took an Air France flight that afternoon and, after a stop in Paris, landed in Moscow, according to the Rio Civil Police.

Marco Aurélio de Paula Ribeiro, delegate in charge of the case, told reporters that, after witnesses said they were unaware of his whereabouts, the investigation looked for clues about a supposed departure from the country.

Eduardo Fauzi Richard Cerquise - Divulgação/Polícia Civil

They then found the suspect's name on the flight's passenger list. Cameras show him arriving by taxi at Tom Jobim International Airport, Galeão, in the north of Rio.

Fauzi has a running record that includes a physical assault of his ex-wife, according to Ribeiro. "He is a violent person, with several threats, even personal injury," he said.

Now a fugitive, Fauzi has lived in Russia before, for five years, people close to him told investigators. Investigators asked to include his name on Interpol's list of fugitives.

The suspect speaks Russian, as well as English and Spanish, and has studied in good schools. He was a partner with his father in a gas station, and today, according to the deputy Ribeiro, leads the Association of Autonomous Vehicle Guardians São Miguel.

Police issued his arrest warrant one day after his trip to Russia. Fauzi was identified as one of the men who spoke on behalf of an integralist faction that threw two Molotov cocktails into the building where the Porta dos Fundos company operates in southern Rio.

The comedy group was targeted after a Christmas special that portrayed Jesus as homosexual.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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