Mystery of underwear found in parliament
"We have a suspicion as to who the owner is, but we're not going to turn him in"
A pair of women's underwear that fell out of a Brazilian legislator's briefcase on the floor of Congress two weeks ago has been incinerated after no one stepped forward to claim them, O Globo newspaper reports.
A group of five legislators was rushing into the Chamber of Deputies to vote on a cybercrimes-related bill on the evening of May 15 when one of them apparently dropped the offending red and white panties, O Globo said.
Security guards quickly, but discreetly, swooped in to pick up the panties and turn them over to the chamber's lost and found office.
O Globo said security staff then decided to incinerate the underwear late on Wednesday - shortly after a story about the incident first appeared online, and went viral on Brazilian social media.
Legislators told O Globo they were aware of the incident, but sought to play it down.
"It must have been a trick they played on somebody," said Marco Maia, the ruling Workers Party's leader in the chamber.
"I was in the coffee shop and two colleagues called me in to show me the panties," said Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, a professional clown known as "Tiririca" who won a seat in Brazil's Congress in 2010 as a kind of protest candidate.
"We have a suspicion as to who the owner is," Oliveira said, "but we're not going to turn him in."