Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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nurseA Portuguese former footballer, living in Sweden, has conned Portuguese councils and social security institutions out of €240,000 while posing as the president of a Swedish foundation.

The ruse was convincing enough to persuade 35 such institutions to advance Carlos Quaresma shipping expenses before "installing medical equipment free of charge."

The Department of Criminal Investigation of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Faro is taking the Portuguese national, who has been living in Sweden, to court on 35 charges of fraud.

The 62-year-old defendant, "acted for a Swedish foundation that distributes used medical and hospital equipment free of charge. In this way, he managed to persuade more than thirty municipalities and social services institutions to give him large amounts of money on the pretext of needing payment of shipping expenses that, in fact, did not exist."

Carlos Quaresma, the former Benfica player, organised the shipments of medical equipment from the AGAPE Foundation in Falkenberg, Sweden. It has been active since 1984 and already has sent orthopedic, medical and hospital supplies to many countries. This is material from hospitals and health facilities in Sweden that is replaced each year but is practically new.

"It is ceded on condition that it is sent to the benefit of persons with disabilities or incapacity, and its commercialisation is prohibited," the foundation explains on its website, noting that "it does not donate this material individually, but tries to ensure reaching those in need through institutions and organizations that provide support to people with disabilities and/or the elderly."

In 2012, the AGAPE denounced Carlos Quaresma and filed a complaint to the police in Sweden. At the time, some Portuguese municipalities considered doing the same. However, in 2013, Carlos Quaresma ended up being acquitted in Sweden as the Swedish Public Prosecutor's Office had closed the criminal investigation.

In Portugal, the receiving organisations eventually accepted the amount requested by Carlos Quaresma, who claimed transportation costs, since these amounts were much lower than the real price of the equipment. But some local authorities eventually suspected what was going on, after discovering that the price of transporting the material varied between €3,000 and €7,000, while Carlos Quaresma charged them €13,000.

The Public Prosecutor's Office spoke to about 50 witnesses and has been able to add up the advances – a total of €240,000 conned from the public purse.

Comments  

-6 #3 Ed 2017-07-10 16:35
Quoting Charly:
I Always red in the papers that the Camara's are in chronical short of money or have enormous deficits.
How can they so easily hand out "cash money" ?

It's local election year. Many Camaras are awash wish cash as they borrowed from a governmment fund to swap short-term borrowings into long-term ones. In Portimao, for example, this released €7 million a year that was being wasted on high interest payments. Elections are on October 1st so we can expect news of spending on social projects, animals and old people until October 2nd when the funds and projects will evaporate.
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-4 #2 Charly 2017-07-10 14:24
I Always red in the papers that the Camara's are in chronical short of money or have enormous deficits.
How can they so easily hand out "cash money" ?
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-2 #1 G.Taylor 2017-07-08 20:39
What is so striking about João Magueijo (author of best selling Bifes Mal Passados) comment when launching his book that 'the Portuguese feel inferior to the British' is that actually the Portuguese do not just single out today's British for this honour. They also feel inferior to a number of other countries in northern Europe.
One regularly mentioned being Sweden presumably for its high standards of public administration and public service. Which will explain this conman's unquestioned success, A useful reminder of the Scandinavian blood coursing through the traditional British body but Sweden scoring higher overall for not giving the Portuguese any Ultimatums .
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