The Madeira business group, which operates in Portugal and Angola in areas such as construction, real estate, health, agriculture and 'rent-a-car', is mentioned in the process through the company Prime Talatona, in which Pedro Lussati is a partner, together with with José António Figueira Chaves, one of the four Chaves brothers.
According to the indictment, Lussati's money circulated through several companies, including Insulcar and others linked to the Irmãos Chaves group, and it was through these companies that he allegedly transferred sums to Portugal.
The document mentions several bank deposits in accounts of the company Prime Talatona, and says that the money transfer scheme abroad had the participation of José António Figueira Chaves.
According to the indictment, several cash deposits were made in his bank account, at the bank Caixa Angola, from 22 May 2018 to 1 May 2021, through Prime Talatona, in Angola, and Insulcar-Rent-a-Car e Irmãos Chaves in Portugal.
Edson Rosário, Denise Santos, Dorivaldo Santiago and Ketzia Lima tried to get the money out of Angola and, in Portugal, transferred it to bank accounts held by Pedro Lussati and his wife, Marisa Manuel António.
Speaking to Lusa Fernando Chaves, brother of businessman José António Figueira Chaves, confirmed that Lussati is a partner in Prime Talatona, but rejects any illegality.
"We were dragged into a situation that dates back to 2013 because my brother is a member of Lussati", said Fernando Chaves, explaining that Prime Talatona was created at that time with the aim of building residential buildings and that the money movements are related to apartment sales.
The relationship with Lussati began when the major bought an apartment in a condominium and, later, he became a partner, at a time when Angolan law imposed this obligation for those who wanted to invest in the country.
Stressing that the Chaves Brothers are not defendants in the process and are not even listed as witnesses, he guaranteed that all documentation was made available to the Attorney General's Office (PGR), including bank account statements and purchase and sale contracts, and regretted that the Madeiran group is being involved in a "Mexican soap opera" that "tarnishes the image" of Madeiran businessmen.
"At the time, things were done like this, it was banal. In business, the military, the generals were involved. In 2013, Lussati had no process. I didn't even have a way of knowing, we didn't interrogate him to find out where he had gone to get the money", declared Fernando Chaves.
The same official confirmed that two transfers had been made - which "had nothing to do with Prime" - through group companies to Lussati accounts in Portugal, explaining that the major had identified a business opportunity to acquire a house and they were made "to facilitate" the Lussati partner's access to funds in Portugal, because "he had no chance of making these transfers".
About these transfers, of approximately 8000 and 600 thousand euros, he added that clarifications had already been given, about a month ago, to the Portuguese PGR, who wanted to know the origin of the money.
Fernando Chaves admitted that the case is affecting the company in terms of reputation, but rejected involvement in "any money laundering scheme".
Asked about the partnership with Pedro Lussati, he said that he remains while the process takes place in court and regretted the choice of the "wrong partner", who is now faced with justice and who is experiencing "a dramatic period".
"Pedro Lussati was a bad choice, today you can say that, but at the time it wasn't. We have a completely clear conscience, we're calm, let's wait. This is their problem, they dragged us into the middle of this and we're going to try to get out without injuries, we don't need this mess", reinforced Fernando Chaves.
The mega lawsuit involves 49 defendants and about 200 deponents who will testify about Operation Caranguejo, a scheme that involved fraudulent payments from the Casa de Segurança payroll, through which 62 million dollars were allegedly embezzled from the public purse.
The start of the trial is scheduled for 9 am on Tuesday and will take place at the Talatona Convention Center, depending on the number of actors involved in the process, including defendants, deponents, experts and witnesses.
Among the defendants are officers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and civilians, accused of embezzlement, criminal association, undue receipt of advantage, economic participation in business, abuse of power, fraud in the transport or transfer of currency abroad, illicit introduction of foreign currency into the country, illegal currency trading, prohibition of cash payments, withholding of currency, forgery of documents, money laundering and assuming false identity.
Major Pedro Lussati, considered the leader of the group, was arrested in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases and crates, and he also owned more than a dozen vehicles.
The long list of witnesses, who will be heard in July and August, include the names of Manuel Vieira Dias "Kopelipa" and Higino Carneiro, among other top FAA generals.
Following these arrests, several officers linked to the President's Security House were dismissed, including General Pedro Sebastião, then Minister of State and head of Security House of João Lourenço, who was replaced in office by General Francisco Pereira Furtado.