Fighting fiscal fraud

MORE THAN 80 per cent of economic crimes investigated by the Polícia Judiciária were attempts to evade paying taxes.

From a total of 345 investigations into financial-economic crime in 2007, 278 referred to financial fraud and tax evasion against only five investigations into alleged corruption.

The statistics were released in the annual report by the Polícia Judiciária Financial Information Unit which showed that large, irregular cash deposits in bank accounts was the financial operation most associated with financial crime. This was followed by illegal national and international bank transfers.

The Coordinator for the Central Investigation Department (DCIAP), Cândida Almeida, told business daily Diário Económico that “there was still a lot of financial fraud and tax evasion as uncovered by Operation Hurricane (Operação Furacão). Social attitudes and moral pressure that this kind of cheating the tax man is wrong is still rather weak in Portugal.”

Cândida Almeida has no doubts that “people are already starting to feel a certain injustice against this kind of crimes, that it is wrong for some to pay their taxes while others evade paying their dues,” she added.

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