Public prosecutor raids EDP and APA over dams deal

  • ECO News
  • 6 July 2021

The authorities are investigating the sale of six dams on the Douro River to a consortium led by Engie.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution of the Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday that raids are being conducted at 11 locations across the country as part of an investigation led by DCIAP and being carried out by the Tax and Customs Authority (AT). Information first advanced by SIC Notícias and after confirmed by ECO.

The raids are being carried out at EDP and also at the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), according to ECO. DCIAP speaks of searches in Lisbon, Porto, Amadora and Miranda do Douro, in “dam facilities, law firms, a state body, an accounting firm and companies linked to the hydroelectric sector.”

“The case investigates the facts related to the business of the transmission of six dams from the EDP group to the French consortium formed by Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova (Natixis Group).” The DCIAP confirmed in a statement.

Having been investigating the deal for several months, the Portuguese Tax Authority has a maximum deadline of one year to present its conclusions on whether or not EDP used loopholes to avoid the payment of €100 million in stamp duty taxes, when it sold a portfolio of six dams to the international consortium led by Engie for €2.2 billion in 2019.

“EDP confirms it was subject of a search operation today with the assistance of the Tax Authority in connection with the sale of a portfolio of six dams to Engie, for alleged tax fraud. EDP is providing full cooperation to the authorities and remains convinced that the sale operation complies with all legal requirements,” an official company source told ECO.

The operation involves 29 inspectors from the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU), 37 inspectors from the Fraud Investigation and Special Actions Directorate (DSIFAE), including 10 specialists from the Forensic Computer Unit. In addition to members of the LTU and DSIFAE, the operation also involves 28 soldiers from GNR’s Fiscal Action Unit, including two specialists in computer forensics. Seven magistrates of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and five judicial magistrates also participated in the operation.

(Article updated at 1h08 p.m.)