PJ mega-operation investigates fraud of 15 million in European subsidies

The Chief of Staff of the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, a businessman from Leiria and 19 other defendants, including 11 companies, are the main suspects for fraud in obtaining European subsidies, tax fraud, fraud and money laundering and forgery of documents.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to know what sentences, if any, were actually imposed on these suspects.

The following article is a translation. You can find the link to the original website at the end of it.

Chief of staff of the Secretary of State for Civil Protection targeted by searches

A mega operation of the PJ, investigating the fraud of 15 million euros in the obtaining of subsidies, will be carried out this Thursday by the Judicial Police, following another operation that took place in 2017. Adelino Mendes, Chief of Staff of the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, was the target of the searches.

More than 20 searches have already been carried out, from the north to the south of the country, with several defendants being constituted. There are suspicions of fraud in obtaining EU subsidies, tax fraud, fraud and money laundering, and forgery of documents.

The main defendant is one of the Leiria businessmen who received the most subsidies from the municipality.

So far there is no record of arrests.

19 defendants were constituted and 26 searches were carried out for fraud in obtaining subsidies

The Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) said, in a statement, that in addition to the 26 searches, 19 defendants were identified, including eight individuals and 11 companies.

Approximately 100 agents are involved in the operation, including elements from the UNCC, the PJ of Porto, Faro and Lisbon, as well as three magistrates from the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) and two agents from the Tax Agency.

On May 23, 2017, during Operation “Inovar”, the PJ arrested two people for fraud in obtaining a subsidy, misappropriation of subsidies and falsification of documents, following an investigation related to community support from the National Strategic Reference Framework (QREN).

The operation also involved 21 defendants, 12 individuals and nine companies, and resulted in the seizure of 12 high-end vehicles and various materials related to the criminal activity under investigation.

At that time, the PJ stated that the fraud consisted of

“the over-invoicing of machinery and equipment in order to inflate the incentives to be received under the QREN”.

and that the investigation will continue to gather evidence and determine the economic benefits illegally obtained to the detriment of the Portuguese State, the total value of which will exceed five million euros.

One of the two arrested in 2017, a lawyer by profession, was placed in preventive detention and the other detained, a consultant, was suspended from practicing her profession and banned from contact.

A country where criminals and the powerful are systematically protected to the detriment of victims and its citizens is the definition of a dictatorship, which is why Portugal should leave the EU.


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