Lawyer in São Bento €75,800 cash stash fesses up to tax man

 In Corruption, Justice, News

Vítor Escária, the man who stashed €75,800 in cash in his office at the Portuguese Prime Minister’s official residence at São Bento in Lisbon, has declare the money to the tax man.

The cash was found hidden in books and in a wine box by judicial police, who raided the residence where the prime minister receives world leaders visiting the city, as part of Operation Influencer.
Vítor Escária, a friend of the Prime Minister, António Costa, has decided to declare the money to the tax authorities. In his IRS returns for 2022 he had declared €40,000 and for 2023 he will declare another €40,000 according to news source Correio da Manhã.
In total he will declare the €75,800 seized during the police searches on November 9 as part of the operation, an ongoing investigation ordered by the Portuguese Public Prosecution Service regarding possible corrupt deals involving members of the Portuguese government.
On November 7, 2023, the Public Prosecution Service ordered a search of 42 locations, including offices of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action, and the Ministry of Infrastructure, in order to investigate active and passive corruption and malfeasance regarding four deals: two concessions for lithium mines in northern Portugal, a project for a green hydrogen production plant, and a project for a data centre, both in Sines.
The searches resulted in the detention of 5 people, including Escária, who was Prime Minister António Costa’s chief of staff, and the minister of Infrastructure João Galamba, who had been named a formal suspect (arguido), while António Costa is being investigated in a separate investigation by the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice.
The money found had been stashed in several envelopes and books, on different shelves, and in wine cases. The discovery was made by elements of the PSP police and State procurators from the Public Ministry.