Fraud investigators quiz top Portuguese banker, days after he stepped down from largest bank

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LISBON, Portugal – Portugal’s attorney general’s office says prosecutors investigating a suspected tax fraud and money-laundering conspiracy have detained the former head of the country’s largest bank.

The office said in a statement Thursday that Ricardo Salgado, who stood down earlier this month as chief executive of troubled Banco Espirito Santo, would appear before an investigating magistrate. It gave no further details.

Salgado is a prominent member of the wealthy and influential Espirito Santo family, which has run a Portuguese banking dynasty since the 19th century. He led Banco Espirito Santo, which stands at the centre of the family’s tourism-to-health care business empire, for more than 20 years.

Salgado left the job after accounting irregularities emerged at a key Espirito Santo holding company and amid accusations of lack of transparency.

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