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PT former directors Zeinal Bava and Henrique Granadeiro accused in Operation Marquês

zeinalbavaTwo former directors of Portugal Telecom have been made defendants in Operation Marquês, the investigation into the life and financial times of former Prime Minister, José Sócrates.

This action makes Zeinal Bava and Henrique Granadeiro the 22nd and 23rd defendants in the long-running investigation.

Zeinal Bava was questioned on the Friday, February 24, at the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action, was accused and released. Granadiero was notified later that afternoon.

Bava and Grenadeiro follow Rui Horta e Costa who on February 8th, was asked to resign his non-executive directorship of Portugal’s Post Office, CTT, after formally being accused as part of the operation.

These two former PT bosses are in illustrious company alongside the former CEO of Banco Espírito Santo, Ricardo Salgado and Carlos Santos Silva, José Sócrates’s childhood friend who is accused of supplying illicit funds to support the former-PM’s lifestyle in Paris and acting as a front for various high-end property deals.

Horta e Costa, whose was in charge of the Algarve’s Vale do Lobo resort, is suspected with Diogo Gaspar Ferreira of, transferring an illicit payment of €2 million to Armando Vara of Caixa Geral and Carlos Santos Silva.

Zeinal Bava already has suffered the indignity of a house search in July 2016, when prosecutors and inspectors from the Tax Authority swooped on several properties owned by Bava and others owned by Henrique Granadeiro. (click here)

At the time, the investigations collected "complementary evidence to the ones already on file," and that "there are possible links between the financial routes investigated in Operation Marquês and PT and Banco Espírito Santo.”

The investigation is focusing on amassing evidence that could indicate corruption, tax fraud and money laundering of which José Sócrates is accused.

Zeinal Bava was in trouble last May when the BES supremo Ricardo Salgado revealed during questioning in the Monte Branco money laundering case that in July 2014 a payment was made to Bava at Portugal Telecom. This was explained away as money for a share support operation which never took place and Bava had returned the money.

Granadleiro has no such convenient explanation for the estimated €24 million he received from ES Enterprises, thought now to be a generous 'thank you' for ensuring a deal went through between PT and Oi in Brazil, blocking Sonae from buying a key division of PT.

These payments were made from ES Enterprises based in Panama, the company that has been used by Salgado to make secret payments totalling €300 million to a number of businessmen, government officials, journalists and civil servants over a period of 20 years.

Salgado said the payment to Bava was an ‘award for management’ despite Bava’s total denial that he ever had received any sort bonus or award.

Bava was moved sideways from Portugal Telecom to Oi in Brazil from where he was paid off on the most generous of terms, receiving 36 monthly installments of €150,000 on top of the estimated €50 million he creamed in while leading PT, ending up overseeing the catastrophic collapse in PT shareholder value, down 68% in 2015 alone.

Henrique Granadeiro resigned from the board of Portugal Telecom in August 2014 wanting to defend the "interests of shareholders," and wrote, "I am sure that the external and independent audit already ordered by the board of directors will clarify the processes and causes of the incident and will demonstrate that I always acted in the best interest of PT, of its employees and all shareholders." Facing trial for a €20 million bung may not accord with his earlier, rather optimistic, statement which will be tested fully in court, alongside the other 22 defendants in Operation Marquês.

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+2 #1 Cicero 2017-03-05 09:22
Surely the sums of money these people have received without having any legitimate records or being able to show any viable reason for the payments and I would assume without the payments having IVA applied to them or being declared on the recipients tax return is more than enough evidence of their criminal activity and guilt, even if evidence of the actual bribery payments is not cut and dried due to a Panama company being used and the deviousness of Salgado and his cronies the authorities in Portugal should use tax evasion charges to put these people behind bars in the same way the authorities in the USA used tax evasion charges to put Al Capone in jail when due to his legal machinations all the other methods of bringing him to account failed.

The people involved in this case who have acquired large sums of money that they can't legitimately account for and therefore cannot prove that they have paid tax on, have, by definition stolen from the state and also the honest, tax paying citizens of Portugal and should have all the unaccounted money confiscated, be heavily fined and also receive long jail sentences as a warning to others who might be tempted to use their positions as a means of instigating or endorsing corruption.

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