Police raid Cisco in $800m tax probe
Wednesday, October 17 2007 @ 10:51 AM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
Police and tax agents raided Cisco's offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and searched the homes of Brazilians thought to have been involved, according to news agency reports.
No charges have yet been made, but Federal Judge Alexandre Cassetari said those involved used bogus documents.
She said they quoted unreasonably low prices on electronic and other products to avoid paying duties on goods being imported.
The investigation is also focusing on whether federal tax officials were involved. Charges could include gang formation, falsification of documents and corruption, Judge Cassetari said.
The scheme, allegedly set up by Brazilian and US companies, prompted a two-year police investigation that focused on at least $500 million in products shipped to Brazilian clients from tax havens such as Panama, the Bahamas and the British Virgin islands, according to the police.
Felipe Lamus, a spokesman for Cisco, said it was “co-operating fully with the investigation”. He declined to comment on the raids or on any arrests made.
“We are currently in the process of establishing what exactly has happened and cannot comment further until we have more information,” Lamus said in an e-mail to news agencies.
Cisco started doing business in Brazil in 1994 and has offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the capital, Brasilia.