joseveiga100412.jpg

Major suspect in money-laundering investigation allowed to go free

Lawyers Rogério Alves & Associates scored something of a coup this week securing the release from house arrest of José Veiga, the former football boss at the centre of money-laundering investigation Operation Rota do Atlântico. Veiga was originally ordered to post bail at €1.2 million, but after his defence encouraged him to settle overdue tax bills of €5 million, this has been waived, reports Correio da Manhã.

Veiga is thus free to go anywhere he likes within Portugal, while he is obliged to report periodically to police.

In the meantime, CM says authorities have “frozen” €180 million “controlled by Veiga in Switzerland”, on the basis that the money came from VIPs in the Congo, in the form of payment for various underhand deals.

Veiga’s defence refutes this, and claims the money was all earned in a legal way, as commissions for securing lucrative business deals.

Also implicated in the scandal is the brother of former PSD prime minister Pedro Santana Lopes.

Paulo Lopes has been ‘free’ for months now, after posting €1 million in bail.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com