Swiss UBS and American AIG Involved in Brazilian Tax Evasion Scheme

Part of the cash seized by Brazilian police in operation Kasper II After an investigation that lasted one year and a half, the Brazilian federal police unleashed a concerted raid this Tuesday, November 6, using 280 federal agents in three states to break a criminal scheme concocted with the help of Swiss financial institutions to launder Brazilian money and send it overseas.

The plan helped individuals and companies from Brazil to funnel their funds into untraceable bank accounts in Switzerland through a method known as dólar-cabo (cable dollar). 

Operation Kaspar II carried out 21 warrants of arrest and 44 search and seizure orders in the states of São Paulo, Bahia and Amazonas.

Among the 19 people arrested there were partners and executives of big Brazilian companies as well as three officials from foreign banks doing business in Brazil. Among those detained were Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse officials as well as an executive of US-based insurance giant AIG.

According to a note from Brazil's Federal Police, the plot was "a criminal scheme whereby banks opened numbered and coded accounts into which Brazilian clients sent money without declaring its origin using the intermediation of doleiros (illegal dollar dealers)." 

Brazilian authorities say that some of those implicated in the plan used doleiros to pay overseas suppliers through a stratagem in which the imported products were under invoiced.

The temporary arrest orders carried out by the Brazilian agents are valid for five days renewable for another five, but those caught by authorities might get up to 40 years in prison if they are condemned for all the crimes they are being charged with.

They are being accused of fraudulent management, tax evasion and embezzlement, money laundering, gang formation and operating a financial institution without authorization from Brazil's Central Bank. The police intend to ask for the preventive prison of some
of those caught.

The Federal police estimate that the money sent to banks in Switzerland and other European countries together with the under invoicing of merchandise bought overseas by Brazilians represents 1 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 570 million) in tax evasion during the last 18 months, the time the investigation lasted.

In the last six months alone, says Ricardo Andrade Saadi, the police chief who coordinated the Kaspar II operation, the scheme was siphoning between 6 million reais (US$ 3.4 million) and 7 million reais (US$ 4 million) out of the country, every month. According to Saadi, the scheme was done in collusion with high officials of the foreign banks involved.

The operation seized 6 million reais and about US$ 600,000 in cash. Bank accounts containing about 2 million reais (US$ 1.1 million) have been blocked by the Brazilian authorities. Kaspar II, was the third police operation focusing on illegal money remittance abroad. The other two were called Operação Suí­ça (Swiss Operation) and Kaspar I.

Brazilian authorities say they cannot name those being probed because the whole legal process is a confidential in camera proceeding. According to unofficial sources, however, Ornare, a luxury furniture factory, Le Postiche, a leather goods company and Gold, a key manufacturer, are among the companies being investigated by the police.

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Well, I’ll Be Damned! The Drummer Was Right After All!

Never print anything in haste, or in anger, I always say. Well, maybe the ...

Brazil Confirms Large Oil Reserves

State-controlled Brazilian oil and gas multinational Petrobras found large oil and gas reserves in ...

Brazil Still Mistreating Its Delinquent Minors, Says OAS

A group of human rights organizations has released a report on the situation in ...

Brazil Accuses the Rich of Invading International Waters to Fish

Brazil plans to submit at the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO),a proposal ...

Monsanto, Syngenta & Co Jump on Biofuel Bandwagon in Brazil

There is a new participant in the international deliberations on global warming and agrofuels: ...

John Deere Lends Its Name to Sugar Cane Harvesting Machines in Brazil

The renowned John Deere brand name will now make its way to sugar cane ...

Brazil’s Lula Goes to Davos in Search of Investors

The Brazilian government estimates that at least US$ 3.3 billion may be invested by ...

Brazil’s TAM and Gol Sell Air Tickets to Be Paid in 48 Months

Brazil's Gol and TAM airlines, which between them account for close to 90% of ...

Brazil Looks for Foot and Mouth Disease Source. Cattle Should Be All Vaccinated.

The Brazilian government received several notifications of temporary cancellations of beef purchases, following reports ...

Brazil: When El Dorado Was Here

The food arrived on the steamships from Europe and North America. Trade between Manaus ...