Operation Babel: Eduardo Souto de Moura has so far received 247 thousand euros in projects


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The architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, whose office was the target of searches as part of Operation Babel, said today that he had been ordered four projects by one of the companies targeted in the investigation, for which he received, so far, 247,000 euros.

“Under the contracts signed for this purpose and as a result of the work already carried out, whose high complexity is evident in projects of this nature and magnitude, the overall amount of 247,980.00 euros (plus VAT) was invoiced and settled,” said the architect’s office, in a statement sent to the press.

The architect explained that the Fortera Group, whose executive director, Elad Dror, was arrested as part of this investigation and was, after first judicial interrogation, released upon payment of a bond of one million euros, commissioned the company “Eduardo M. – Arquitecto, Lda.” four architectural projects, namely a 5-star hotel, a spa, a congress center and the surrounding plaza (which includes a parking lot).

However, the licensing requests have not yet been submitted to the City Council of Vila Nova de Gaia, in the district of Porto, he stressed.

Eduardo Souto de Moura also confirmed that the PJ conducted searches on May 17 at his office in Porto, following which he provided all requested documentation and offered “full collaboration” with the ongoing investigation.

Neither the company “Eduardo M. – Arquitecto, Lda.”, of which the architect is a partner, nor Eduardo Souto de Moura, nor his collaborators have been made defendants, he stressed.

The architect guaranteed to guide his professional activity “by respect and compliance with the legal and regulatory norms that govern the projects in which he agrees to participate.

In addition to the office of Eduardo Souto de Moura, the PJ searched several places such as the town halls of Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto and Braga, the Metro do Porto and the Regional Directorate of Culture of the North (DRCN).

Operation Babel resulted in seven detainees, namely the deputy mayor of Gaia, the executive director of Fortera, who resigned today, a businessman, a lawyer, two employees of the Porto City Council and one of the Regional Directorate of Culture of the North (DRCN).

This main process of Operation Babel 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, by offering and accepting pecuniary counterparts.

At issue are crimes of receiving or offering an undue advantage, active and passive corruption, prevarication, and abuse of power, committed by and on behalf of an official or holder of political office.

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