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Pedrógão Grande 'fund fiddles' now being investigated

FirePedGrandeCarAllegations of fraud and misuse of funds donated to the victims of the Pedrógão Grande fire are being investigated.

Police officers today started work inside the Council building and the nearby headquarters of the Revita Fund, the one used to collect and distribute money the those affected.

There have been allegations of irregularities in the grants handed out to people to rebuild their houses, burnt by the devastating June 2017 fires.

The owners of second homes, or of uninhabited buildings made out to be homes, may have fiddled money from the Revita Fund which was meant to restrict any grants to first homes.

Another allegation is that some people changed their Fiscal address to their burnt-out second home in order to get a rebuilding grant.

The local Council said that judicial inquiries are being carried out "at its own request."

"Following the request for a police inquiry made by the Pedrógão Grande Council, Judicial Police officers were welcomed by Mayor, Valdemar Alves, and will be supplied with all the documents deemed necessary for the determination of the facts," read a Council statement which added that it welcomed the speed at which all of this is being followed up, mainly as it did not handle any of the house rebuilding money but it does insist that all the rebuilt houses had actually been burned in some way.

The mayor said he would not resign and announced that he would sign the petition against the alleged building aid frauds.

The fire broke out on June 17, 2017 in Escalos Fundeiros in the rural Pedrógão Grande municipality and quickly spread to neighboring Council areas, causing 66 deaths and leaving 253 people injured, seven of them seriously.

Around 500 properties were burnt, 261 of which are said to be permanent dwellings.There long has been suspicion of favouritism, Fiscal address fiddles and grants that were made to people who did not qualify.

Comments  

+2 #1 Dennis.P 2018-09-13 07:27
This yet again emphasises how infantile so much public administration and justice is in Portugal. The opposite of in developed countries in that if the decision DOES NOT BENEFIT YOU or yours - you must leave the room. It is obvious that genuine low status 1st homers will be aware of higher status newcomers nearby fiddling claims in preference to their own. But the organised criminals in the Municipals and Freguesia's press on regardless to help their friends and family. Also that many others were well aware of the scam - financas, land registry, lawyers, local builders merchants and, through gossip, local GNR to name a few. But these will not be investigated.
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