Altice suspends senior French executive as corruption probe deepens

The corruption scandal engulfing international cable, telecoms and media group Altice has widened to impact the company’s French operations for the first time, with a senior executive being suspended as a result of the group’s internal enquiry.

According to AFP, the group has suspended Tatiana Agova-Bregou, executive director of content, acquisitions and partnerships.

The move comes as Portuguese media reported that Agova-Bregou received a property in the Paris region from Armando Pereira, Altice’s co-founder, who is at the centre of a Portuguese police probe into the group.

Pereira is accused of putting in place a network of suppliers to Altice from which he was able to benefit financially to the tune of millions of euros.

Altice France CEO Arthur Dreyfuss has reportedly said that further measures in France could be taken in the coming days or weeks.

Altice International had earlier  suspended a number of un-named managers, workers and legal representatives in Portugal and other countries as it seeks to respond to a police probe that saw Pereira detained on suspicion of corruption, tax fraud and money laundering.

The company’s co-CEO Alexandre Fonseca, who also serves as chairman of the group’s Portuguese and US units, also suspended himself from all of his roles this week after co-founder Armando Pereira and other individuals were detained over the weekend.

Pereira was detained after his home and Altice’s Lisbon offices were raided by police  as part of the Portuguese Departamento Central de Investigação e Ação Penal (DCIAP)’s Operation Picoas investigation.

Periera and two other individuals were detained in connection with alleged corrupt procurement practices that were harmful to Altice Group’s own companies and competitors, according to the DCIAP.

Álvaro Gil Loureiro, a director of companies linked to Pereira’s business partner Hernâni Vaz Antunes, and Antunes’ daughter Jéssica Antunes were detained, with Antunes handing himself in for questioning subsequently.

Pereira has been placed under house arrest in Portugal as the corruption enquiry against him proceeds.

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