MP requests pre-trial detention for Armando Pereira and Hernâni Vaz Antunes

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Preventive detention is what the MP proposes for Armando Pereira, co-founder of Altice, and his friend and businessman Hernâni Vaz Antunes, the two main suspects of having practiced a monumental scam to the French telecommunications multinational. Rosário Teixeira argues in her plea that there is strong evidence of passive and active corruption in the private sector, qualified tax fraud and money laundering in the private sector.

The MP requests the most severe coercion measure for the suspects evoking the danger of flight since the defendants have the economic means to do so, the disturbance of the investigation and destruction of evidence giving as an example that the defendants, having had advance knowledge of the triggering of the Picoas operation, which will have occurred a week before the searches, will have destroyed documentation related to the allegedly illicit schemes that they will have put into practice within the operator, while other evidence will have been placed in places with which none of the defendants was related.

Armando Pereira himself, co-founder of Altice and one of the suspects, during the interrogation to which he was subjected this week, directed by Judge Carlos Alexandre and in the presence of the leaders of the investigation team, prosecutor Rosário Teixeiraand Braga tax inspector Paulo Silva, admitted that, on Wednesday last week, the day before the searches carried out at his mansion in Guilhofrei (Vieira do Minho) and his preventive detention, he was contacted by TVI/CNN Portugal with a request to comment on what was going to happen. The weekend before the operation was launched, the Braga businessman Horácio Vaz Antunes, a friend of Armando Pereira and who is said to have acted in collusion with him in the design and implementation of the scheme, moved to the Algarve, while the accountant Álvaro Gil Loureiro, his collaborator and alleged mastermind of many of the maneuvers carried out to place the presumably illicit gains of both in tax havens, left for Luxembourg. However, nothing happening in the days immediately afterwards, the two eventually returned to their base in Braga. Both are also in preventive detention as part of the operation. Meanwhile, investigators have reportedly recovered much of the hidden documentation.

The investigators were only able to recover part of the evidence with the collaboration of Hêrnani Vaz Antunes’ accountant who, during the interrogation, before Rosário Teixeira and the investigating judge, decided to recount the illegal practices that squandered Altisse’s assets. For this reason, the MP asks that Álvaro Gil Loureiro await the continuation of the investigation in freedom. The situation with Melissa Antunes, daughter of the Braga businessman is similar since the former Sporting de Braga soccer player, when heard, confessed to have always received orders from her father which he corroborated.

It remains to be seen whether Judge Carlos Alexandre will follow the Public Prosecutor’s request, a decision that should be known later this afternoon.

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