The outside of Impala's headquarters in Ranholas
The outside of Impala's headquarters in Ranholas, on Sintra outskirts. Image: SIC notícias

83-year-old media boss arrested in alleged €100 million fraud

Operation “Latest Edition” sees three others detained; total of 10 official suspects

Octogenarian media boss Jacques Rodrigues has been arrested today in a PJ police operation dubbed “Latest Edition (Última Edição)”.

The head of the Impala group – which publishes titles like Nova Gente, Maria and TV/ Dias – is “suspected of crimes related to the fraudulent insolvency of several companies”.

Correio da Manhã lists the charge sheet as “suspicions of the practice of crimes of passive corruption, active corruption, aggravated insolvency, qualified fraud and falsification/ counterfeiting of documents“. 

Three other people were also arrested (among them Mr Rodrigues’ son, also called Jacques), “and there is, in total, 10 arguidos (official suspects)”, writes SIC television news’ bulletin

“In total the crime will have resulted in a fraud of €100 million”, says the station, describing PJ police talking about “a criminal plan”.

The arrests followed dozens of searches in various districts of Lisbon, Porto and Funchal” (Madeira).

A statement sent to newsrooms by the PJ says: “”At issue is a criminal investigation whose object is a criminal plan designed, among other things, to conceal the dissipation of assets, through the adulteration of accounting elements of various companies, to the clear detriment of various creditors, v.g., employees, suppliers and the State, being recognized credits in a total amount of about 100 million euros.

“In addition, there is strong evidence of the diversion of values from corporate structures to outside the country, in an overall amount that will amount to many tens of thousands of euros“.

SIC adds that it “knows that as a result of the operation this morning there are several employees of the Impala group who cannot access their accounts to work”.

The four arrested will be presented before a judge at Sintra’s court of criminal instruction tomorrow to hear bail measures.

According to the PJ statement, the police operation “aimed to execute 32 search warrants, namely eight house searches and 24 non-house searches”.

“Last Edition” was carried out with the collaboration of several National Units of the PJ, including more than a hundred criminal investigators and experts, as well as Judges and Public Prosecutors.

SIC’s reporter Ana Alvarinho provided some background information on the Impala group’s recent history.

She told SIC this morning from outside Impala’s business premises that Sintra’s commercial court declared Jacques Rodrigues’ company Descobrirpress insolvent in October (2022). The amounts owed by the group have been public knowledge for several years, bearing in mind legal disputes existed between Jacques Rodrigues and “many of the injured parties, including former employees”, she said.

For the allegedly fraudulent scheme – which appears to have involved “manipulating the accounts of several companies” – she said Jacques Rodrigues would have had the complicity of several people, including those other suspects arrested this morning by the PJ.

At 12.15 PJ inspectors were still on Impala’s premises in Ranholas, Sintra.

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