MP asks for preventive custody for Hernani Vaz Antunes and bail of 10 million for Armando Pereira

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The Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) requested preventive detention for the defendant Hernâni Vaz Antunes, considered the “right-hand man” of Altice co-founder Armando Pereira, revealed to Lusa a source linked to the process.

According to the same source, in relation to Altice co-founder Armando Pereira, the MP asked the investigating judge Carlos Alexandre to apply house arrest, which may be converted or replaced by a bond of 10 million euros.

For Armando Pereira, the MP also requested a ban on contacts with other defendants or persons and companies supplying Altice.

Jéssica Antunes
Jéssica Antunes

Jéssica Antunes, one of the daughters of businessman Hernâni Vaz Antunes and who the MP believes played a crucial role in the circulation of funds within the alleged business stratagem used by her father, the MP requested as coercive measures a bail of 500 thousand euros, obligation of periodic presentations (bi-weekly) to the authorities, prohibition to go abroad and prohibition of contacts with the other defendants.

Hernâni Vaz Antunes
Hernâni Vaz Antunes

As for the defendant and accountant Álvaro Gil Monteiro, the MP requested as coercive measures a bail of 250,000 euros, an obligation to periodically appear before the authorities, a ban on going abroad and a ban on contacts with other defendants.

This case concerns “the Altice group’s decision-making bias in procurement, with practices that harm the group’s own companies and the competition”, which point to private corruption in active and passive form and crimes of tax fraud and money laundering.

Investigators suspect that the state has been defrauded of more than €100 million in taxes.

The investigation also indicates the existence of evidence of “abusive use of the reduced taxation applied in terms of IRC in the Madeira Free 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.

Altice co-founder Armando Pereira is indicted on 11 counts, including six counts of active corruption and one count of passive corruption in the private sector, as well as four counts of money laundering and unquantified counts of document forgery in the ‘Operação Picoas’ case.

According to the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the operation triggered on July 13, which led to three arrests, 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 arrested, but this occurred only on the 15th, after he surrendered to the authorities.

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”.

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