BES godfather accused of leading criminal organisation
Portugal’s Public Ministry is to accuse ex-banker Ricardo Salgado of leading a criminal organisation within Banco Espírito Santo, the bank he ran for over 20 years until it collapsed in 2014.
From the point of view of the public prosecutors who are leading the investigation into dealings that eventually led to collapse of Portugal’s oldest and most respected high street bank, Salgado created a criminal network to commit organised crimes in what will be the most serious accusations ever laid at the door of a banker in Portugal.
According to the newspaper Público, the Public Ministry has until 15 July to officially present the accusation in the case. On Friday the magazine Sábado reported that the charge sheet will run into over 3,000 pages and that the number of ‘legal defendants’ (i.e., those accused), 41 in all, will be notified on Monday (today).
The most serious accusation, however, is levelled at Salgado, who will be accused of having created a parallel institution within the bank which operated on the fringes of the bank’s management and supervisory mechanisms.
Its objective was to illegally bankroll the debts clocked up by the companies owned by the Espírito Santo family between 2009 and 2014.