Premium Millionaire who is fleeing Lava Jato wanted "to be safe" in Portugal

José Carlos Lavouras has arrest warrants in Brazil, but lives safely in Porto

Millionaire José Carlos Lavouras, wanted by the Brazilian courts, stayed in Porto a month per year since 2015.

Sentenced to a prison term in the Lava Jato case in Brazil, the Luso-Brazilian businessman, now hiding in Porto, was planning a permanent move to Portugal, but for "safety reasons" not because he wanted to avoid the Brazilian courts. "Chance" made him make this decision sooner than expected, because when, in 2017, Operation Ponto Final ordered his arrest, José Carlos Lavouras was in Portugal. And there he remained.

The businessman's lawyers, Amílcar Fernandes and Nogueira da Costa, stress to JN that this was the defendant's plan. He was born in Rio de Janeiro, son of Portuguese emigrant José Alves Lavouras, one of the most powerful businessmen in Brazil's transport sector. José Carlos would head several companies of the group and became president of the Federation of Passenger Transport Companies of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

"Dr. José Carlos is a citizen of Portuguese origin (Portuguese parents) and became naturalized in the 1980s. Every year, since 2015, he used to come to Portugal, where he spent about a month and to where he was planning to move permanently, for security reasons," Amílcar Fernandes and Nogueira da Costa explained to JN. They are defending the businessman in two investigations that are still undergoing in Portugal and in which he is suspected of money laundering. Lavouras was not yet constituted defendant.

Family Drama

The reasons for "safety" invoked will also be related to the history of the Lavouras family in Brazil. As the JN reported in yesterday's edition, the patriarch José Alves Lavouras was murdered in 1993, following a kidnapping in Brazil. The family accepted, twice, to pay the money required by two criminals. Only, on the final payment, one of the criminals gave up on sharing the money and decided to keep everything. He killed his "partner" and then murdered his victim, José Alves Lavouras.

Manuel Alves Lavouras (brother of the victim and uncle of José Carlos Lavouras) was also abducted. But the criminals freed him.

Business empire

In addition to transportation companies in Brazil, the Lavouras family has been the owner of the carrier Gondomarense and Águas Carvalhelhos for decades. The companies were bought in the 80's by his father, José Alves Lavouras.

Extradition refused

In July, 2017, José Carlos Lavouras came to be detained in Porto, at the request of the Brazilian Justice. The Porto Court refused extradition, due to his Portuguese nationality.

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