Entities see abuse in PF actions and create movement for “legality”


Source: Valor Econômico, 19/07/2005

Meeting at Fiesp. Photo: Carol Carquejeiro / Valor
Photo: Carol Carquejeiro / Valor

By Raquel Salgado

Meeting at Fiesp brings together union members, businessmen, financial market executives, representative entities and civil society: criticisms of mega-operations  

About forty entities such as OAB, Fiesp, Fecomercio and Força Sindical yesterday published a manifesto against what they call “excesses” committed by the Federal Police in operations, and installed the “Movement for Legality, against Arbitration and Corruption”. The manifesto, which will be distributed to the country's authorities, questions preventive arrests made by the PF and searches in law firms, considered to be “disproportionate mega-operations that lead citizens to public execration”.

Last Wednesday, businesswoman Eliana Tranchesi, owner of Daslu store, was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion. In mid-June the same happened with seven directors of Schincariol, also suspected of tax evasion. On the 31st of last month, the PF arrested 24 people, including lawyers and businessmen, mostly from São Paulo, and carried out searches and apprehensions in five law firms to investigate evasion, money laundering and foreign exchange evasion schemes. These operations were carried out jointly with the Federal Public Ministry and the Federal Revenue Service.

Luiz Flávio D'Urso, president of the São Paulo Bar Association (OAB-SP) explained that the movement will “closely monitor all PF actions, defend investigations and institutions and, when there are excesses, they will even be repudiated with judicial measures ”. Although they understand the actions against tax evasion as legal and necessary, the entities question the way they are done. For José Batochio, ex-president of the OAB, he evaluates the operations of the PF as a media spectacle and affirms that there is discretion in the fulfillment of court orders. He believes that the press would not need to follow these actions, as they expose the suspects.

In a tumultuous press conference, Paulo Skaf, president of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) repeated many times that the creation of the movement is not about specific cases, such as Daslu. Asked about the reason that led Fiesp to carry out this protest right now, after the recent PF actions against businessmen, irritated, Skaf argued that the organizations understood that this was the time to speak up. He also stressed that the meeting with the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, to discuss the matter, scheduled for last Friday and canceled, had been requested two weeks ago.

The president of Força Sindical, Paulo Pereira da Silva, accused the PF of performing “these shows to cover up what the PT gang did”, poked the unionist, referring to the supposed monthly fee paid by the party to deputies from the allied base. For Paulinho, the police cannot arrest people only with evidence. "If that were the case, then Delúbio, Genoíno and José Dirceu would have been arrested".

A dissonant voice among the participants in the manifesto, Emerson Kapaz, president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (Etco), signed the document, but did not describe the PF's actions as exaggerated. "We cannot miss the chance to strengthen this type of operation (against evasion and smuggling), which is very positive, at least for those who pay taxes". Kapaz said the government fails to raise about R $ 160 billion due to these crimes.