White high-heeled collar


By Ronaldo D'Ercole, Giuliano Ventura *, Fábio Massali * and Carlos Orletti

O Globo - 14/07/2005

A little more than a month after it opened with a party that lasted a weekend and counted on authorities such as Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB-SP) and São Paulo Mayor José Serra, Daslu, the largest and most famous store of The country's luxury was taken by assault by agents of the Federal Police and the IRS. Daslu was the target of Operation Narciso, of the PF, of the Revenue and of the Federal Public Ministry, which arrested on suspicion of tax evasion and conspiracy the businesswoman Eliane Tranchesi and her brother, Antônio Carlos Piva de Albuquerque, partners in the store.

Operation Narciso mobilized 250 PF agents and 80 IRS auditors, who carried out 36 search and seizure warrants and four arrest warrants. A routine inspection by the Customs at Guarulhos Airport, at the beginning of last year, was the trigger for the operation.

In the inspection of a container of shoes and bags from the Italian brand Gucci, the Revenue found that the goods did not match the description of the import guides. In addition, the original invoices of the manufacturer, issued on behalf of Daslu, were inside the container and had prices much higher than those described in the guides.

From that, was a network of ghost companies discovered? ten of them based in Brazil and at least one abroad? that acted as intermediaries, issuing counterfeit notes with under-invoiced values, which ended up collecting much less taxes (for Import, IPI, PIS / COFINS and ICMS).

? Was this operation another blow to organized crime? said the superintendent of the PF in São Paulo, José Ivan Guimarães Lobato.

Eliana Tranchesi was heard yesterday by the prosecutor who coordinates the investigations, Matheus Baraldi Magnani. And he denied having knowledge of fraud in the store's imports. He said he just? Took care of marketing, glamor? and that he knew nothing about the commercial and tax areas of the business.

After spending ten hours at the PF headquarters in São Paulo, at the request of the Public Ministry, Justice ordered the release of his prison. The businesswoman left the PF through the employees' exclusive garage.

? Are the documents seized quite satisfactory and are we going to assess the need to maintain the prison? said Magnani.

The businesswoman's brother and partner, Antônio Carlos, and Daslu's accountant, Celso de Lima, who according to the IRS is also a partner in one of the orange importers, are under arrest and were questioned last night. According to Magnani, they presented? Contradictory and improbable versions? about import methods. All those involved are accused of conspiracy, forgery of documents, tax evasion and embezzlement (fraud in the importation of legal products).

According to the IRS, at least ten companies (most tradings) were part of the scheme. Two of them, Magnun, in Guarulhos, and Multimport, in São Paulo, were front companies and were disabled by the IRS a few months ago. A fourth arrest warrant was issued against a partner of By Brasil Trading, in Santos. But the businessman was not found.

In Itajaí (SC), the PF fulfilled a search and seizure warrant at Sertrading. PF said it believed the company was a front because it had no telephone or electricity. The headquarters of Sertrading, in São Paulo, is chaired by Alfredo de Goeye, father of stylist Fernanda de Goeye, partner of the brand Raia de Goeye. Fernanda is linked to Eliana. Sertrading's board of directors in São Paulo did not return calls from GLOBO.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office does not rule out asking the American and Italian courts for help with their investigations, to obtain documents on Daslu's business in those countries.

In Vitória, the PF searched the office of a foreign trade company, seizing three computers, invoices, import and export documents, contracts and agendas. The material will be sent to the PF headquarters in São Paulo.
(*) Special for O GLOBO