Forensic audit shows Salgado “disobeyed Bank of Portugal 21 times”

Details of the long-awaited forensic audit into the catalogue of errors that led to the €3.6 billion collapse of BES bank last year have at last emerged and been sent on to the parliamentary inquiry currently interviewing key players in the scandal.

The document – leaked to the Portuguese press – shows that BES’ “dono-disto-tudo’ (boss-of-all-this) Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva Salgado had 21 times “disobeyed the instructions of the regulator” (Bank of Portugal) during seven crucial months between December 2013 and July 2014.

According to Jornal de Notícias, the report – compiled by financial consultants Deloitte – showed Salgado had practised “ruinous acts of management” on four occasions “conceding financial payments to administrators and companies within the (Espírito Santo) group, without complying with regulations”.

This first volume of Deloitte’s audit has now been passed to the parliamentary inquiry currently quizzing key players on their actions and responsibilities regarding the bank’s cataclysmic collapse.

As reported in the Resident in December, Salgado has already appeared before the inquiry in a remarkable performance in which he gave a reason for every accusation levelled against him and affirmed that had always been “a conscious professional” trying to do his best.

Salgado meantime remains on €3 million bail – suspected of the crimes of fraud, money-laundering, abuse of confidence and falsification of capital – awaiting a date when those believed to be responsible for the scandal finally appear before a court.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]