Local February 25, 2016 | 4:28 pm

Another Brazil-Dominican Republic scandal, EFE

Sao Paulo.- Brazilian police raided the headquarters of theGerdau Group, one of the world’s largest steelmakers, as part of a probe into againsttax evasion with 18 search and seizure warrants issued, officials said todayquoted by EFE.

Police suspect that Gerdau, present in 14 countries includingDominican Republic’s Metaldom foundry, evaded fines of US$379 million tomanipulate its tax documents.

In a statement the Federal Police said it confirmed"criminal conspiracy" in manipulating the decisions on corruption to benefitcompanies which had been penalized.

The investigation forms part of Operation Zelote (Zealot)into alleged crimes prosecutors say Gerdau committed.

The company confirmed the registration of their offices,but denied having obtained administrative benefits of illegality.

Gerdau response

"Based on its ethical precepts, Gerdau did not grantany permission for its name to be used in illegal dealings, vehementlyrejecting any attitude that has occurred to this end," the company said ina statement.

Police, however, believes that Gerdau signed contracts withlaw and consulting firms, which, through its partners, "acted illegally bymanipulating the continuation, distribution and making."

Gerdau executives, including president André Gerdau were subpoenaedto testify, while 18 search and seizure warrants were executed in the cities ofBrasilia, Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife.

Gerdau said it cooperates with police and has no furtherinformation on the raid conducted Thursday.

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