Public Prosecutor launches probe into ‘VIP tax list’ scandal

Portugal’s Public Prosecutor’s Office (PGR) has announced it is formally investigating the ‘VIP tax list’ scandal that led to a number of high-profile resignations last month.

In a statement sent to Lusa news agency, the PGR confirmed the news. It said that the reports it received from the National Commission of Data Protection (CNPD) as well as from the parliamentary hearings about the list were sent to Lisbon’s DIAP (Department of Investigation and Penal Action), which decided to move forward with the investigation.

As has been reported, the CNPD concluded last week that for a four-month period, there was a system that sent out a warning when the tax files of the Portuguese President Cavaco Silva, PM Passos Coelho, Deputy PM Paulo Portas and Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs Paulo Núncio were accessed.

The ‘VIP list’ scandal emerged a few weeks ago, and prompted the resignation of two high-level tax bosses António Brigas Afonso and José Maria Pires, who quickly stepped down from their positions as president and deputy-director of Portugal’s tax authority (AT), respectively.