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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?