Israeli real estate developer Elad Dror, who is one of the seven arrested in operation Babel, announced his resignation. In the same statement, Fortera reveals that the Skyline and congress center projects have been initiated by the Gaia City Council.
Elad Dror, founder of Fortera, arrested as part of operation Babel, aimed at combatingcorruption schemes in the area of urban planning of the municipalities of Gaiense and also Porto, resigned as CEO of the real estate developer this Wednesday, according to a statement sent to news outlets.
“We further inform that Elad Dror, current CEO, will resign from the position with immediate effect in a voluntary manner, as previously stated before the judge at his hearing, thus allowing the company to continue its activity without any interference from and in the ongoing process, which we estimate will end without further charges,” the document can be read.
The new CEO of the Fortera group will be announced next week.
In the statement, the company also explains that “the Skyline project and the Congress Center in Vila Nova de Gaia were initiated and supported by the City Council of Gaia, having declared it as an emblematic venture for the city, thus demonstrating the commitment to provide assistance commensurate with the high investment required for its implementation.
In exchange the company has been granted, “the construction capacity and respective tax exemptions, subject to approval by the Municipal Assembly and subject to public discussion, as provided by law”.
The main process of Operation Babel, which focuses on “the vitiation of rules and instruction of urban licensing processes in favor of developers associated with projects of high density and magnitude, being at stake real estate interests in the order of 300 million euros, through the offer and acceptance of counterparts of pecuniary nature”.
“We firmly believe that the allegations will prove to be unfounded, as there has never been any involvement of the Fortera Group in any actions that put in question their investments in the country,” they also indicate.
In Operation Babel, crimes of receiving or offering undue advantage, active and passive corruption, prevarication and abuse of power, committed by and on behalf of an official or holder of political office are at stake.
The Israeli businessman was released in exchange for a bond of one million euros and the surrender of his passport, while the lawyer João Lopes is under house arrest with an electronic bracelet and a ban on contact with the other defendants and Amândio Dias, director of the Directorate of Cultural Goods Services, was forced to suspend his duties.