The German publication, Der Spiegel, and the weekly Portuguese paper, Expresso, have shared details of how Álvaro Sobrinho, the former boss of Banco Espírito Santo - Angola (BES-A), managed to divert funds, including €227 million in customers’ cash deposits.
Álvaro Sobrinho, is suspected of receiving $433 via three Angolan companies and another $182 million from two offshore companies. The total he is alleged to have siphoned off is the equivalent of €499 million, money that was advanced as ‘loans’ to companies which then was diverted for his control and use.
Saturday's Expresso cites documents obtained by the German magazine which it was happy to share within the international consortium of investigative journalism framework.
Among the documents are bank statements, e-mails and Excel files that indicate movements of money, such as a deposit of $277 million in cash into a BES-A account and the raising of almost $50 million in cash from a company controlled by Sobrinho who deposited half of the amount the next day, July 17, 2012, in a private account.
This particular transaction is detailed in an exchange of emails between the BES-A boss and one of his relatives.
The small matter of the $5.7 billion financial hole detected at BESA in 2013 was 'a shock' to BES's bosses in Lisbon and was a key factor that led to Grupo Espírito Santo’s collapse in August 2014.
This investigation shows how hundreds of millions were sent to entities controlled by the former CEO of BES-A.
Sobrinho once was a confidante of Ricardo Salgado, later becoming an enemy and the target of accusations. Sobrinho’s office was raided by the Judicial Police on February 15th, as part of Operation Lex, after two previous searches by the PJ’s National Anti-Corruption Unit.
Operation Lex is an investigation in money laundering crimes, tax fraud, influence peddling and corruption.
Among the defendants are Judge Judge Rui Rangel and Fátima Galante, Rita Figueira, Benfica President Luís Filipe Vieira, and Vice-President Fernando Tavares.
For the Expresso article, in Portuguese, click HERE