Portugal investigates airline's purchase of Brazilian firm

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's attorney general's office says investigators have conducted searches of TAP Air Portugal's premises as part of an investigation into the airline's purchase of a Brazilian aircraft maintenance company.

A statement says authorities suspect the deal involved corruption, money-laundering and embezzlement, among other crimes.

The statement Friday said there are currently no formal suspects in the case. It gave no further details.

The investigation concerns TAP's 2007 purchase of VEM, a maintenance and engineering company that belonged to Brazil's now-defunct Varig Airlines.

TAP was partially privatized last year, with 50 percent now owned by the Atlantic Gateway consortium.