July 26, 2021

Sale of dams. Authorities search EDP and APA

At issue is the sale, for 2.2 billion euros, of six EDP dams in the Douro river basin – Miranda, Bemposta, Picote, Baixo Sabor and Foz-Tua – to a consortium formed by Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova. Deal concluded on December 17th of last year.“At issue are suspicions of the practice of the crime of tax fraud,” said the DCIAP in a statement.

The electric company confirmed to RTP that “Today was the target of a search operation with the assistance of the Tax Authority in the context of the sale of a portfolio of six dams to Engie, for alleged tax fraud”.

EDP ​​also stated that it is providing full cooperation with the authorities and remains convinced that the sale operation complies with all legal requirements.

The APA also confirmed that “it is receiving today, July 6, at its headquarters, a procedural step by order of the Public Ministry”.

“This Agency, of course, is providing cooperation and the information requested”, he stresses in a short release.

“Search in 11 locations”

“As part of an inquiry directed by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action and whose investigation is being carried out by the Tax and Customs Authority, searches are carried out in 11 places in the country, namely Lisbon, Porto, Amadora and Miranda do Douro. These searches take place in dam installations, law firms, a State body, an accounting firm and companies linked to the hydroelectric sector”, reads in a DCIAP press release.

In this inquiry “in secrecy of justice”, the note continues, “facts are being investigated related to the business of transmitting six dams by the EDP group to the French consortium made up of Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova (Natixis Group). The crime of tax fraud is suspected.”.

“29 Inspectors from the Large Taxpayers Unit (UGC​) intervene in the operation, 37 inspectors from the Department of Fraud Investigation and Special Actions (DSIFAE), including 10 specialists from the Forensic Informatics Nucleus. in addition to elements from the UGC and DSIFAE, it also has 28 soldiers from the GNR’s Fiscal Action Unit, including two experts in computer forensics. Seven public prosecutors and five judicial magistrates participate in the proceedings.”
Stamp tax
The Left Bloc has been defending that 110 million euros in stamp duty should have been paid. EDP ​​contests.

In April, the company claimed that the sale of the dam concession to the Engie consortium did not benefit from the stamp duty exemption provided for in the law since 2020.

“The operation is not subject to Stamp Duty as it does not fall within the normative provision of the 27.2 budget of the TGIS (General Table of Stamp Duty)”, argued EDP, adding that, “if there is no incidence, the rules of exemption”.

This position is part of EDP’s answers to the 17 questions of the Left Bloc and others agreed by the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, in a total of 21, about this business.

On April 14, in Parliament, the director-general of the Tax Authority, Helena Borges, stated that, regardless of the public discussion, the structure that leads would have always analyzed the operation of dam sales by EDP to Engie.

In March, also heard by deputies, Finance Minister João Leão stated that “the time for intervention in fiscal matters on the State side begins now”, insisting that the Tax Authority has “complete autonomy” to act.

c/ the day after tomorrow