Police describe scheme to evade taxes on networking gear

41 'temporary' arrests made in 'Operation Persona'

Brazilian police dubbed their crackdown "Operation Persona," which led to raids and temporary arrests of 41 members of an organization that allegedly evaded federal taxes when importing Cisco Systems networking gear.

The gang, as police termed them, allegedly concealed the real importers and exporters of the equipment with the intent of reducing taxes due, the Federal Police told a Brazilian federal judge in a statement released by the Federal Justice Department of Sao Paulo.

Police were seeking the judge's permission to make the arrests and seize property to support their suspicions. Police alleged that the gang could be guilty of crimes of falsifying documents, underpricing goods and creating ghost companies to stimulate trade, using false documents and evading taxes, according to the Federal Justice statement.

Those raids occurred yesterday in three cities, and led to more than 40 arrests, according to several news reports. There could be several more arrests, including some in the U.S., several reports said. In all, the tax avoidance could total more than US$800 million, police said.

Citing unnamed sources, IDG Now! in Brazil, said those under temporary arrest included Cisco Brazil President Pedro Ripper, and Marcos Sena, director of channels for Cisco Brazil.

However, a spokesman for Federal Justice, Gabriela Reis, said that the agency was not releasing the names of the arrested, and would not confirm if others are expected to be arrested, or if any charges have been brought.

Cisco issued a statement that said the raids targeted many companies, including a Cisco reseller in Brazil, which led to a temporary closing of Cisco offices in two cities and temporary arrests of a small group of Cisco employees. Cisco would not name the employees and said it is cooperating in the investigation.

The Inquirer, a U.K.-based news site, cited sources that said Cisco allegedly shipped equipment from tax havens in the Caribbean and Central America to its Brazilian customers at low cost in order to evade Brazilian import duties.

In the Federal Justice statement, police named Cisco Systems as one of the companies that would benefit from the scheme, as well as Cisco to Brazil, an importer, Mude Trade and Services and other U.S. and Brazilian companies.

The statement says the gang was divided into "heads," "managers," and "laborers," designating their roles in the group.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?