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Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

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Portimão council avoids discussing crooked planning deal

Post  Max on Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:33 am




Portimão council avoids discussing crooked planning deal

Created: 13 March 2016

At the end of 2010, the newspaper O Púbico ran a report into suspicious goings on at Portimão council where a prime plot overlooking the river Arade had been sold to a company, owned in part by a former vice-President of the council, which mysteriously was granted permission for a development of nearly twice the size of that originally granted.

Looking through the reasoning for granting the larger development, it is clear that a massive fiddle has gone on to the horror of the apartment owners behind the site whose view is due to be severely curtailed, and to ruin the area surrounding the old convent São Francisco.

This valuable river-front land lies alongside the road leading from Portimão to Praia da Rocha, opposite the ruins of the old convent.

The original landowners, Jaqueline Dimas and family, had gained approval for 2,485 m2 of construction and the apartment owners behind the site had accepted this was a suitable size and density and accorded with urban planning rules.

The site was sold in 2004 to Facho Investimentos Imobiliários e Turísticos SA owned by, amongst others, Sr. Fernando Rocha, the president of the local football club who conveniently also had been the vice-President of Portimão council between 2002 and 2003.

The council, then led by mayor Manuel da Luz, cunningly altered the land classification from an Urban Expansion Zone with a COS (the ratio between the construction area and the plot area) of 0.5, the maximum allowed under the Municipal Master Plan 1995 for urban development, to a Consolidated Urban Space with a building density of 1.14 and a total build area allowable of 4,545m2 based on submitted figures that were incorrect, reported O Púbico.

By obtaining permission in 2009 for more building area within the plot area, the value of the development rose significantly to the new owners' benefit and no doubt to the consternation of Jaqueline Dimas and family.

The original plan also included leaving a space between the new apartment blocks to allow the old factory chimney to remain as a focal point from the apartments to the rear, the sea view and a new road also seems to be scrapped in the new plan for denser development.

The planning permission process for the increased number of apartments was picked up by O Público in a report in September 2010.

The first attempt at getting the site reclassified was rejected by the council’s planning department which correctly pointed out that the land was in an urban expansion area (COS 0.5).

The director of the planning department, Agostinho Escudeiro, wrote, "I agree with the urban classification which was applied in 2002 and nobody contested it."

Along comes a specialist architect appointed by Facho Investimentos who earlier had been involved in preparing the council’s Municipal Development Plan (PDM).

The architect formally requested a clarification arguing the land was a "consolidated urban space" and using incorrect density data to back up the objection.

The council president, Manuel da Luz, concluded that the objection was valid even though it bent the rules beyond the law and he approved the application, thus increasing the site’s asset value to the direct benefit of his former vice-president Fernando Rocha, a fellow socialist.

Forward to the current day. The constructor Bemposta currently is busy clearing the site and aims to start building in two months time.

Bemposta has a contract to construct a hotel - the Jupiter Marina - which will be (even bigger than the upgraded planning of 4,545m) at 5,676.40 m2. Remember that the proposed apartment building project from 2009-2010 was for a site that legally should have only 2,485 m2 of built area.

This new hotel will dominate the old convent and devalue the blocks of apartments to the rear as these will cease to have a river view. It will devalue the whole area by blocking views and crowding an historic site.

In 2010, the owners of the apartments all signed a complaint sent to the council outlining their objections to the development, the fact they would have no view left and that their property values will be badly affected.

The council did not bother to send confirmation that it had received the letter, choosing to archive the objections without response.

The Administrator for the largest of the neighbouring apartment buildings (74 apartments) contacted the Left Bloc, the only party opposing to the project, and asked its councillors to bring the matter up in the next council meeting.

As the council so far has failed to put this serious matter on the agenda, it has not been discussed; meanwhile the Jupiter Marina Hotel project is going ahead.

Anxious apartment residents went to the last council meeting but not one councillor raised this urgent matter, and therefore they have had no say in a matter that directly affects their enjoyment of their properties.

A hoped-for compromise seems a distant dream with Portimão councillors not prepared to discuss the background to the enhanced planning permission, the role of Manuel da Luz, the clairvoyance displayed by Fernando Rocha and Co in buying up a development knowing it later could be upgraded, the domination of the new development over the historic convent next door and the legitimate concerns of the apartment owners to the rear whose views will be blocked.

The administration under Manuel da Luz was riddled with corruption and the socialist former mayor’s spending spree contributed significantly to Portimão council’s €130 million overdraft.

Fiddling planning permissions to the financial benefit of former colleagues fits the pattern of behaviour that had dominated Portimão for years but why does the current council under Isilda Gomes, also from the Socialist Party, seem reluctant to talk openly about what went on?

It may be ‘money’ again as the annual municipal rates receivable from a new hotel will help the council’s shattered finances, plus there will be jobs during construction and after the hotel is finished and operating.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring apartment owners are waiting to hear if the matter is tabled at this week's council meeting and an explanation given as to how planning permission was upgraded with the use of erroneous figures and to their clear
detriment.


http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/8236-portimao-council-avoids-discussing-crooked-planning-deal



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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:30 am

Portugal scores badly on most corruption lists, so who's suprised at this? LL
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:40 pm

It's very relevant to the McCann case, LL.


The administration under Manuel da Luz was riddled with corruption and the socialist former mayor’s spending spree contributed significantly to Portimão council’s €130 million overdraft.



That is Gonzo's mayoral chum - gave Gonzo all sorts of assistance, did da Luz. And Mrs Gonzo 'worked' in the tourist department. Cool

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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:41 pm

Corrupt barstewards.
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:33 pm

Tourism Portugal "is not directly aimed" PJ raided the headquarters of Turismo de Portugal. The Judicial Police conducted searches on Thursday in Turismo de Portugal. as confirmed by the CM, on contracts and procurement documents were seized. In the center of the investigation is a former member of the board of directors that have favored people who are close to them. The investigation was conducted by the National Anti-Corruption PJ Unit.

Ler mais em: http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/nacional/portugal/detalhe/pj_fez_buscas_no_turismo_de_portugal.html

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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:53 pm

I am sure there is nothing that relates to St. Gonc in there.
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Max on Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:08 am




http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/8296-turisom-de-portugal-raided-in-corruption-inquiry

Portugal's national tourism authority raided in corruption probe

Created: 17 March 2016


Portugal’s national tourism authority today suffered the indignity and media scrutiny of a raid by the national anti-corruption unit acting under orders from Department of Investigation and Penal Action in Lisbon.

Inspectors collected documents relating to contracts and tenders for the promotion of Portuguese tourism abroad, particularly in Brazil.

There is a suspicion that an as yet un-named former member of Turismo de Portugal’s board had been handing out contracts to mates.

A new administration for Turismo de Portugal was appointed in February with Luís Araújo from the Pestana Group heading up the institution.

Maria Teresa Rodrigues Monteiro was reappointed as vice-president and Filipe Gonçalves da Silva and Carlos Abade came onboard.

João Cotrim Figueiredo, the former president of Turismo de Portugal, resigned in a huff after arguing with the new Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho. Figueiredo left alongside Luís Matoso and Jorge Abrantes.

The Attorney General's Office commented only that today’s searches are part of an investigation by the Department of Investigation and Penal Action into corruption at the tourism body.



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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:05 am

Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that some of the Algarve Tourist Board's funds had gone on paying people to pretend to be 'hairdressers' from PDL?

Or on citizen churnalists pretending to have Secret Sauces? Pcorneater

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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Pedro Silva on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:36 am

bb1, your words are mine.
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:45 pm

bb1 wrote:Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that some of the Algarve Tourist Board's funds had gone on paying people to pretend to be 'hairdressers' from PDL?

Or on citizen churnalists pretending to have Secret Sauces? Pcorneater

It would indeed. No one would even suggest that if corruption did not run rampant there.
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:21 pm

County court bailiff suspected of embezzling 2.5 million Justice gives the county court bailiff Aurora Boaventura from north to south running processes. Judicial stopped her for having appropriate fortunes, which transferred abroad. By Henrique Machado

Ler mais em: http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/exclusivos/detalhe/gere_dez_mil_penhoras_e_desvia_25_milhoes.html

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former inspector of judicial police suspected of being involved in the fraudulent sale of gold bullion

Post  Max on Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:03 am


Judgment

Former inspector PJ accused of swindling silent


April 12, 2016 at 13:18

A former inspector of judicial police suspected of being involved in the fraudulent sale of gold bullion is remitted, on Tuesday, the silence at the beginning of the trial, the Court of Aveiro.

The defendant, 62, who was chief inspector of the economic crime squad PJ of Aveiro, is charged with two counts of aggravated fraud.

The case also involves a defendant, 47, who is at large, and the collective of judges ordered the separation of processes.

The facts occurred in 2010 when the defendants persuaded an inspector PJ retired and another individual to buy a thin gold bar, with five kilos weight by 105 thousand euros.

According to the indictment the prosecution, the victims came to travel to Italy to meet with the alleged sellers of precious metal, and on that occasion delivered the money without it having received the promised gold bar.

Back in Portugal, the defendants also persuaded the victims to hand over 8,650 euros to unblock the situation and accelerate the delivery of gold, which never happened.

The session was marked by statements of former PJ inspector who was deceived and told the court the details of the deal.

"The deal was appealing because gold was bought at well below the market," he said, admitting that he was "confident" in the situation, given the friendship and companionship that had with the defendant.

The victim also said that despite having returned to Portugal with the conviction that they had been swindled, still had a glimmer of hope to recover the money or gold.

Later, he discovered that the accomplice of his former colleague was referenced in PJ for various crimes of fraud and confronted the accused with this, having said that he had also been deceived by it.

http://www.jn.pt/justica/interior/ex-inspetor-da-pj-acusado-de-burla-em-silencio-5122313.html



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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:53 am

Frankly. Max, in the past, there seems to have been more criminals in the PJ than in Portuguese jails.

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Operation Achilles sees PJ top brass behind bars

Post  Max on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:52 am



Posted by portugalpress on April 14, 2016

Operation Achilles sees PJ top brass behind bars


Nine of the 15 people arrested last week as part of Operation Achilles - a two-year-long investigation centring on corruption, money-laundering and drug trafficking involving PJ top brass - have now been remanded in preventive custody.
As inquiries continue, serious allegations are appearing in the tabloid press.

A bit like Marquês - the probe into alleged multi-million corruption involving former prime minister José Sócrates - information that should be protected by Portugal’s ‘secrecy of Justice’ ruling is suddenly leaking in full-technicolour detail.
Leading the field iis national tabloid Correio da Manhã which explains the whistleblower who alerted cops was a trafficker who had received death threats from a South American drugs cartel for ‘losing’ a consignment of cocaine.

In return for information, the trafficker got the protection he wanted - and ‘Achilles’ struck at the heel of the country’s investigative police force, the PJ.

Kingpins in the inquiry are a chief inspector working “for many years” in the drugs’ squad, and a former PJ coordinator.

They are suspected of receiving bribes for helping Colombian cocaine traffickers keep one step ahead of authorities.

According to CM, chief inspector Ricardo Macedo knew he was being investigated as far back as 2013. He allegedly cut phone contacts with the traffickers he is suspected of having been in cahoots with, and tried to ‘silence’ any potential witnesses.

CM suggests he even visited one of these in jail and threatened him with “death in jail” if he talked.

But Macedo’s so-called attention to detail failed him, says the paper. He was caught on a phone tap, telling a trafficker that he was now choosing the people he tipped off about police raids and investigations very carefully.

Just enough “so a chap can eat”, he is understood to have said - suggesting the money he received in return for information was very much needed.

Dias Santos, the former coordinator, was also ‘caught out’ by money, says CM. Around 20,000 euros discovered in his bank account led back to a trafficker.

GNR corporal, José da Silva was also among the 15 arrested in simultaneous raids up and down the country last week. He too has been remanded in police custody.

Jornal de Notícias reports that Dias Santos’ lawyer is hopeful that he can free his client from jail to house arrest, but this depends on an official report by Department of Social Reinclusion.


http://portugalresident.com/operation-achilles-sees-pj-top-brass-behind-bars#sthash.rHg3TwEw.dpuf



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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:23 pm

I wonder what St. Gonc thinks about this?
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Sabot on Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:28 pm

lily wrote:I wonder what St. Gonc thinks about this?

How lucky he was to be f*cking up The McCann case at that time?
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:34 pm

It must be killing brown-noser Hounder Donn to have to report all this. Pcorneater

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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:06 pm

bb1 wrote:It must be killing brown-noser Hounder Donn to have to report all this. Pcorneater

What a trooper!
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Max on Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:27 pm



"According to CM, chief inspector Ricardo Macedo knew he was being investigated as far back as 2013. He allegedly cut phone contacts with the traffickers he is suspected of having been in cahoots with, and tried to ‘silence’ any potential witnesses.

CM suggests he even visited one of these in jail and threatened him with “death in jail” if he talked".


http://portugalresident.com/operation-achilles-sees-pj-top-brass-behind-bars#sthash.rHg3TwEw.dpuf

I wonder if it was a special Christmas Day visit


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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  bb1 on Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:30 pm

Ah yes, Max!

Did anyone except his most deluded worshippers ever really believe that tale of Gonzo spreading Yuletide cheer?

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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:32 pm

bb1 wrote:Ah yes, Max!

Did anyone except his most deluded worshippers ever really believe that tale of Gonzo spreading Yuletide cheer?

NO. He was more likely visiting his then girlfriend. You know the one threatened with golden bullets?
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  Sabot on Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:49 pm

Or threatening to kill Joao if he let on about being tortured.
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Re: Corruption in Portimao and Portugal

Post  lily on Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:53 pm

That also works for me, Sabot.
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Former coordinator of the PJ detained happens to house arrest

Post  Max on Fri May 13, 2016 10:26 pm



http://www.dn.pt/portugal/interior/ex-coordenador-da-pj-detido-passa-a-prisao-domiciliaria-5171147.html



Former coordinator of the PJ detained happens to house arrest


Achilles Operation

12 MAY 2016
15:54


Dias Santos is stuck at home with electronic bracelet

Four defendants Achilles operation will move to house arrest, including Carlos Dias Santos, the former coordinator of the judicial police suspected of passive and active corruption. The defendants, who were in custody, will stay at home with electronic bracelet today determined the judge Carlos Alexandre, the Central Court of Criminal Investigation (TCIC).

According to Melo Alves, defendant's lawyer, changing the enforcement measure applied to day Saints, who was in custody since April 14 has been amended following a request to that presented to Judge TCIC.

In custody will continue the Chief Inspector of National Unity to Combat Drug Trafficking (UNCTE), Ricardo Macedo, and the cable from the GNR of Torres Vedras posting José Manuel Baltazar Silva.


Following "Operation Achilles", triggered in early April, they were constituted 17 defendants, 15 of whom were present in court on 14 April. The process involves suspicions of active and passive corruption, aggravated drug trafficking, criminal association and money laundering.

Carlos Dias Santos was 38 years in the PJ and belonged to the Direction Central Narcotics Trafficking Investigation (DCITE) and the Central Directorate for Combating Banditry (DCCB). But the Chief Inspector Ricardo Macedo worked at UNCTE.

Research is in charge of the National Anti-Corruption Unit, in collaboration with the National Unit for Combating Narcotic Trafficking, a survey addressed by the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action.



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Faro Court official arrested for selling information

Post  Max on Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:43 am


http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/9284-faro-court-official-arrested-for-selling-information


Faro Court official arrested for selling information

Created: 04 July 2016

farocourtAn official at Faro court today was arrested today for taking money in exchange for information.

As part of the same Judicial Police investigation, a group of three men were arrested for financial crimes involving vehicle loans.

According to the prosecutor, one of those detained is a businessman who is suspected of corruption, criminal association, fraud, forgery and money laundering.

The authorities alledge that the court worker provided privileged information on property seizures going through the court of which he had knowledge. He then sold on the information at around €2,000 a time.

The businessman also is suspected of leading the group involved in purchasing vehicles in a complex scam involving loans from banks and financial institutions using forged documents.


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