Taxman tightens squeeze on Operation Marquês defendants

If it wasn’t bad enough to be one of the 20-odd defendants in Operation Marquês – famous for involving former prime minister José Sócrates in an alleged multi-million network of corruption – news this week is that the tax department is looking into the possibility of making use of information uncovered in the investigation to impose new and “elevated taxes” on various individuals.

Under threat of receiving “elevated” demands, says national tabloid Correio da Manhã, are Sócrates, his lifelong friend Carlos Santos Silva, former MP and director at State bank CGD Armando Vara, businessman Rui Horta e Costa, Vale do Lobo CEO Diogo Gaspar Ferreira and companies attached to the Lena Group.

According to CM, prosecutors are defining criteria for attributing income “detected” during Marquês.

“The final calculation demands analysis of financial movements, the destination of the money and its final beneficiaries. At issue are sums originating from Switzerland that were shared via various bank accounts in Portugal”, says the paper – adding that investigators will be setting a sum allegedly received by each defendant and then calculating the respective tax to pay.

What CM does not explain is how defendants could be made to pay tax on money they claim never to have received and which no court of law has ruled them guilty of receiving.

[email protected]