Cisco raided in tax dodge probe

The Brazilian headquarters of computer network equipment maker Cisco Systems has been raided as part of an investigation into tax evasion.

Authorities believe the unit may have imported $500m worth of equipment over the past five years without properly paying import duties.

The firm said its Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices had been temporarily closed and some staff detained.

A Cisco spokesman added the firm was fully co-operating.

“We are currently in the process of establishing what exactly happened in Brazil, and determining how this investigation pertains to Cisco,” Cisco spokesman John Noh told the BBC.

“We understand that a small number of employees have been detained. No formal charges have been brought against these employees.”

A former top Cisco executive for Brazil is among those under investigation, according to a Federal Judge Alexandre Cassetari.

About 650 police and tax officials executed 93 search warrants and arrested 40 people.

About $10m ($5m) worth of merchandise was seized, along with a commercial jet and 18 vehicles, authorities said.

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