Media mogul under police investigation

 In Companies, News, Tax, Tax havens and offshores

Portugal’s Public Ministry has made the media, hotels and river cruise tycoon Mário Ferreira a legal suspect in the Operation Ferry case over the sale of the ship Atlântida.

The case involves suspected tax fraud and money laundering in the purchase and sale of the Atlântida and involves his company Douro Azul which operates cruises up and down the River Douro. The tax authorities suspect Mário Ferreira may have committed tax fraud over the sale of Atlântida to a Norwegian firm for €17 million.
Tax agents and police armed with warrants from the criminal investigation department DCIAP undertook searches at the headquarters of his leisure cruises company Douro Azul in Porto according to the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (AT), and following the operation Mário Ferreira was made a legal suspect”.
The investigation refers to 2014-2016 and “involves a transaction made through another jurisdiction (offshore) so as to reduce taxable profits in Portugal”.
“This manoeuvre essentially aimed at reducing taxes paid on revenues on IRC income tax, as well as camouflaging an eventual distribution of profits obtained”.
The businessman himself asked to be made a legal suspect or ‘arguido’ and for a hearing to be organised as soon as possible.
In a letter addressed to the Portuguese Criminal Investigation Department (DCIAP) to which the online news service ECO had access (Ferreira is a shareholder in that too), Mário Ferreira, who owns a controlling share in the private media company Media Capital (TVI television station), explained through he agents that “there was no other alternative to having to deal with the continuous humiliations of which he has been and continues to be the target, and because of the responsibility that comes from the positions he holds, and the role he has in Portugal’s companies network.
The search at Douro Azul on Wednesday which involved eight different search warrants and was carried out by 12 tax inspectors, six IT specialists, 12 GNR police agents from its tax brigade (Ação Fiscal), and four GNR police from the GNR Territorial Command of Madeira.