Movistar raided in Costa Rican tax probe

11 Jan 2019

Costa Rica’s Justice Department has raided the offices of Telefonica de Costa Rica (Movistar) and its subsidiary Tejisa, Reuters reports, as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud. Local law firm Zurcher Odio & Raven and accountancy giant KPMG have also come under scrutiny, local sources have clarified. The Prosecutor’s Office for Financial Crimes said it obtained a court order to raid the businesses in question, citing possible ‘fraudulent moves’; Telefonica is accused of using Tejisa to pay less tax. The news agency’s report points to lost taxes of CRC1.25 billion (USD2 million) during 2017.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica paid USD95 million for its Costa Rican mobile concession in mid-2011 and went on to launch commercial services in November that year. Telefonica is currently understood to be considering exiting Costa Rica – and its other Central American markets – as it seeks to raise funds and reduce its debt pile.

Costa Rica, Telefonica Costa Rica (Movistar)