As many as 15 tax inspectors, lawyers and accountants have been arrested today in a massive police operation, targeting tax offices, law firms and private homes in the Greater Lisbon area.
The focus of the swoop was “corruption that is mining the AT (Autoridade Tributária) tax authority”, claims TV news channel SIC.
Operation Tax Free, as Público calls it, centres on ‘false fiscal pardons’ in exchange for money given to businesses that were then in a position to tender for lucrative public contracts.
“Many millions worth of public business” is thought to have been involved, with bribes oiling the corruption along until someone must have blown the whistle.
Tuesday’s operation involved over 200 police from the national anti-corruption unit and DCIAP (the department for criminal investigation and penal action) conducting “over 100 searches” of various properties, both businesses and private residences.
The crimes of active and passive corruption are suspected, though formal charges have yet to be brought.
For now, those arrested include “tax inspectors, tax office chiefs, an AT service director, a deputy tax director and a member of the Centre for Fiscal and Customs Studies”.
Lawyers, accountants and businessmen have also been detained, writes Público.