Altice Portugal CEO urges ‘focus on operation’ as corruption probe continues

The CEO of Altice Portugal has urged the company’s employees to carry on focusing on its operations and not to be distracted by the corruption enquiry that engulfed the operator over the weekend.

Altice Portugal’s CEO, Ana Figueiredo, told employees to focus on continuing to executive the company’s business plan and improve its performance, according to an internal communication reported on by local media.

The CEO’s intervention comes as the corruption probe appears into the activities of Altice executives and associates continues to develop.

According to SIC Noticias, the Operation Picoas investigation carried out by the Departamento Central de Investigação e Ação Penal (DCIAP)’s is looking into the purchase and sale of buildings owned by Altice in transactions involving Hernâni Antunes, a business partner of under-investigation Altice co-founder Armando Pereira.

It is alleged that Antunes, who reportedly handed himself in to police for questioning at the weekend, was involved in the purchase of buildings owned by Altice at knockdown prices and their subsequent sale at a large profit, with completion of his company’s purchase of a building close to the Russian embassy in Lisbon only completed when a buyer had been found.

Alexandre Fonseca, the former president of Altice Portugal, who has suspended himself from his role in Altice, is suspected of benefiting, with one of his companies invoicing two companies linked to Antunes for €380,000 with no record of any service being provided, according to SIC Noticias.

Pereira spent the weekend in custody after being detained by Portuguese police on suspicion of tax fraud, corruption and money-laundering.

Periera, Álvaro Gil Loureiro and Jéssica Antunes were detained in connection with alleged corrupt procurement practices that were harmful to Altice Group’s own companies and competitors, according to the DCIAP.

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