Three men suspected of money laundering arrested in Tomar

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The Judiciary Police (PJ) arrested on Tuesday in Tomar (Santarém) three men suspected of money laundering, forgery of documents and, one of them, also for illegal stay in national territory.

In a statement released today, the PJ states that two of the detainees “opened bank accounts in Portugal on which requests for the return of deposited funds were made by companies from Germany, the United Kingdom and Finland”.

“In those accounts, there was also a high number of national deposits, suspecting, from the information collected, that they result from computer fraud and transfers to private accounts in five European countries, being the beneficiary of part of them one of the detainees in this operation”, he says.

A third man, suspected of being associated with the operation, was in possession of personal identification documents from an EU country, “which were shown to be false and consequently found to be illegal in national territory”.

The coordinator of the PJ of Leiria, Avelino Lima, told Lusa that the other two detainees are residing in Portugal with authorizations from a country in the Schengen area, one of them being enrolled in a Portuguese university, using the same scheme used to open bank accounts.

The arrests occurred during the fulfillment of three home search warrants and two arrest warrants, issued by the Public Prosecutor of Tomar, carried out by the PJ Department of Criminal Investigation of Leiria, reads the note.

“Ten false identification documents, passports and identity cards were found in the possession of those targeted, with which they opened more than a dozen bank accounts and created registrations with the AT [Tax Authority] to obtain NIF [Tax Identification Number], a crucial element for opening bank accounts, and also registrations at a national university “, he adds.

According to the inspector, the investigation, which began in March, based on an alert from the financial movement verification system, has identified amounts close to €200,000 in the situations of companies in the three countries mentioned and another €200,000 in the computer fraud investigations carried out so far.

Admitting that this is the “tip of the iceberg”, Avelino Lima said that the searches allowed to confirm the investigation and “opened doors” to the identification of the victims and the amounts involved.

The three men, aged 27, will be heard this afternoon in first judicial interrogation, at the Criminal Investigation Court of Santarém, for the application of coercive measures.

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