The operation triggered on 13 July, which led to three detentions, included about 90 home and non-home searches, including company premises and law firms in various parts of the country.
Altice co-founder Armando Pereira is indicted for a total of 11 crimes of active and passive corruption, money laundering and forgery in the ‘Operation Picoas’ case, the defence confirmed on Wednesday outside court.
Speaking to journalists, lawyer Manuel Magalhães e Silva confirmed that Armando Pereira is suspected of active and passive corruption in the private sector, money laundering and document forgery, stressing that his client is not targeted by the public prosecutor (MP) for the crime of fraud also under investigation in this case.
“What has been continuously said to be a monumental tax fraud is not imputed to Mr Armando Pereira,” he said, adding: “From A to Z everything will be explained. He has read and reflected carefully on the indictment presented to him by the MP and is in a position to clarify the MP on all items of the indictment.”
The main defendant in the investigation by the public prosecutor’s office (MP) known last week has been detained since Thursday and will begin to be questioned today at the Central Criminal Investigation Court (TCIC) by Judge Carlos Alexandre, after the questioning of Jéssica Antunes and Álvaro Gil Loureiro has been completed.
Hernâni Vaz Antunes, considered Armando Pereira’s ‘right-hand man’ and the fourth defendant detained in this case, will be the last to make statements.
According to the central department of investigation and criminal action (DCIAP) of the MP, the operation triggered on 13 July, which led to three detentions, included about 90 home and non-home searches, including company premises and law firms in various parts of the country. Hernâni Vaz Antunes was the fourth defendant to be detained, but this occurred only on the 15th, after he surrendered to the authorities.
At stake is allegedly a ” violation of the decision-making process of the Altice Group, in terms of contracting, with practices harmful to the companies of that group and the competition “, which point to private corruption in the active and passive form. The authorities also emphasise that at the tax level the State may have been defrauded of a sum “in excess of €100 million”.
The investigation also indicates the existence of evidence of “abusive use of the reduced taxation applied in terms of corporate income tax in the Madeira Free Trade Zone” through the fictitious tax domiciliation of people and companies. The MP believes that offshore companies have also been used, indicating the crimes of money laundering and forgery.
In the searches, DCIAP revealed that documents and objects were seized, “such as luxury vehicles and exclusive models with an estimated value of around 20 million euros”.