Nelma Kodama’s Rich Family History & Lifestyle May Surprise You

Her family was affluent, owning a meatpacking plant and a butcher shop in Diadema!

After Netflix’s documentary “Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money” was released, many viewers were eager to learn more about her family. Let’s get right into it!

Key Takeaways

  • Despite speculation of Nelma Kodama’s humble background, she was born into an affluent family.
  • However, she got into the criminal world after falling in love with individuals of similar circumstances.

Grew Up In Wealthy Family

Nelma Kodama was born and raised in Lins, São Paulo, in a wealthy and traditional family.

Her parents were affluent, owning a meatpacking plant and a butcher shop in Diadema.

How rich, you may ask? Well, rich enough to own a private plane, which Nelma and her friends used to take for the occasional spin.

The 57-year-old was a local odontology university graduate and was on the path to becoming a dentist.

Despite having a better family background and a blooming career, Nelma chose another path to success.

Love Drove Her Into Illegal Activities

Kodama’s entry into the criminal world began in the 1990s when her bank manager introduced her to Julio Cesar Emilio, the notorious illegal currency exchanger.

A single dinner with Julio sparked Kodama’s interest.

One day, while I was there, I thought, ‘You know what? I’ll go out to dinner with this guy, at least. He must be interesting; he’s a dollar dealer.

Nelma Kodama

What seemed like an innocent encounter later became a romantic relationship, ultimately leading Kodama to delve into dollar dealing under Emilio’s guidance.

With great observational skills, Kodama quickly learned the ins and outs of the business.

When Emilio backed out, fearing legal trouble, Kodama took over and assumed control of the operations.

This ended their relationship, and she was then involved with notorious dollar dealer Alberto “Beto” Youssef.

However, the partnership was an omen for Nelma, as she was caught up in systemic corruption at the state oil company Petrobras, and they were arrested.

While Youssef faced incarceration, Kodama terminated her sentence prematurely through a cooperation agreement and a presidential pardon granted by Michel Temer in 2017.

Love resurfaced in her life through lawyer and lobbyist Rowles Magalhãe.

The couple indulged in an extravagant romantic European vacation, instigating an investigation in 2019.

Their relationship took a tumultuous turn when they were arrested in 2022 for their alleged involvement in an international cocaine smuggling ring operating between Brazil and Portugal.

Kodama still denies the accusations, claiming she was merely a victim of Rowles’ deception, having fallen for his charm.

Now that she has left her notorious past life to rest, her recent lover is yet to be revealed.

In 2021, Nelma was photographed on what appears to be a dinner date with doctor Marcelo Zacarkim.

Not only that, but Kodama also posted a photo with him with the caption,

“Love …. My most sublime Love ❤️ ❤️ ❤️”

Nonetheless, they don’t have any recent pictures or any details about their relationship.

Talking about her children, she has a pet dog named Nelma Kodama, which was also featured in the documentary.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Netflix’s documentary ‘Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money’ provides in-depth details about the life of the infamous Brazilian black-market currency trader.
  • Kodama herself appears in this original production, revealing details about her decades-long journey involving luxury lifestyle and criminal activities.
  • Viewers are offered an unfiltered glimpse into the world of corruption and financial violations.


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