An offshore company, controlled by the wife of disgraced banker Ricardo Salgado, purchased diamonds in 2012, worth a cool €3.25 million.
A second offshore company, this one controlled by Ricardo Salgado himself, purchased gold worth €3.5 million in November 2011.
Neither of these companies has been listed under assets controlled by the banker. The whereabouts of the stones and gold is unknown but the public prosecutor would like to know where these valuable objects are.
Correio da Manhã stated at the weekend that, “The bank statements of Savoices, an offshore company of Ricardo Salgado based in Panama, show that the banker had almost €3.5 million invested in gold in November 2011. And the prosecution by the Public Prosecutor also reveals that Begolino, an offshore company controlled by the banker’s wife, Maria João Salgado, acquired in 2012 three diamonds for USD3.82 million (equivalent to €3.25 million).”
The public prosecutor’s office had access to the offshore bank account statements after the former chief of the Espírito Santo Group and his wife were searched at Lisbon airport as part of Operation Marquês.
Maria João Salgado’s luggage contained banks statements from three accounts based at UBS, Switzerland.
The authorisation to check the Salgado couple’s baggage was acted on as the couple went to catch a flight at Lisbon airport on June 27th, 2017.
The documents that were found and inspected made it clear that “there are funds deposited in accounts opened in Switzerland by Ricardo Salgado, even though these are in the name of offshore companies, and that, from the funds deposited in the same accounts, purchases of high value goods, gold and precious stones, were made and whose final destination has not been identified,” writes Correio da Manhã.
Ricardo Salgado’s whining that he is being forced to live off just over €1,000 a month, while living in a luxury property in Cascais, has failed to tug at many heart-strings and the revelation that he has millions tucked away via offshore companies will come as little surprise to many following the banker’s fall from effortless riches to disgrace and prosecution.