A investigation was opened by the parquet national financier (PNF), a judicial entity dedicated to major economic crime, in September 2023, for bribery of people who do not perform public functions, money laundering and concealment of these crimes.

It emerged after the arrest by Portuguese authorities of Armando Pereira, the right-hand man of French businessman Patrick Drahi, owner of Altice, a source told AFP.

In Portugal, the process is at stake in a “decision-making bias of the Altice group in terms of hiring, with harmful practices by that group’s own companies and the competition” that point to private corruption in active and passive forms and to crimes of tax fraud and money laundering .

Investigators suspect that, at a fiscal level, the State may have been defrauded of more than 100 million euros.

The investigation also indicates the existence of evidence of “abuse of the reduced taxation applied to IRC in the Madeira Free Zone”, through the fictitious tax domicile of people and companies. The MP also understands that offshore companies were also used, indicating the crimes of money laundering and forgery.

This month, the Lisbon Court of Appeal (TRL) revoked the order of judge Carlos Alexandre, within the scope of the Operation Picoas case, annulling the coercive measures of the defendant Armando Pereira by considering the decision null and void as it was not properly substantiated.

At issue is the order of the investigating judge who decreed the coercive measures in the Operation Picoas case (which investigated the Altice group’s business), dated July 2023, and which ordered the house arrest of Armando Pereira, later replaced by the payment of a bail of 10 million euros, which after being paid at the end of October 2023, allowed the defendant to move freely.

On July 13, the MP launched an operation with around 90 home searches, which resulted in the arrest of Armando Pereira, Hernâni Vaz Antunes, Jéssica Antunes (daughter of the Altice co-founder’s right-hand man) and Álvaro Loureiro, business administrator (these two The last defendants were released in July on bail).

Documents and objects were also seized, “such as luxury vehicles and exclusive models with an estimated value of around 20 million euros”.

Read Also: STPT. Government considers Altice a strategic asset with national sovereignty

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2517716/justica-francesa-investiga-grupo-altice-por-suspeitas-de-corrupcao

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