Three lawyers and four others who had ties to TAP airlines, one of them as a member of the Board of Directors, were charged on 14th July 2017 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office with active corruption with prejudice to international trade, money laundering and falsification of documents.
According to information released by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP), the scheme operated through an “apparent” provision of services to TAP by Sonair, a subsidiary company Sonangol. This allowed the Angolan oil company to place in Portugal, large sums of money.
“The investigation found that Sonair paid TAP more than € 25 million without the provision of services apparently contracted,” says the DCIAP.
According to the MP’s department, the money circulating from Sonair to TAP was then laundered by another company, Worldair.
“The latter, by receiving incomprehensibly high commissions (about 2/3 of the value of the business), allowed the money to be transferred to accounts outside Portugal. The amounts were still circulating offshore before returning to Portuguese accounts. In some cases, The money ended up being used for the acquisition of luxury real estate in Portugal “, says the DCIAP.
During the investigation, the MP seized nine properties, all registered on behalf of companies involved in the money laundering process.
The balances of 21 bank accounts were also seized, also on behalf of the front companies involved, and also requested that the amounts deposited there be declared lost in favour of the State. It was also requested the intervention of the Asset Recovery Office of the Judiciary Police.
The Public Ministry was assisted in this investigation by the Judiciary Police. Source Diario de Noticais