Cascais con man

By Bob Hughes

What was to be a quiet morning visit to Cascais, last Friday, turned out quite the opposite for Jorge (name altered), a retired gentleman from Goa in his 70s, here on a month’s holiday.

As he walked through the town, Jorge was approached by an individual, probably of Goan or Indian descent, who said that he had noticed that Jorge was not in good health (which is true) and invited him to spend some time with him over a coffee in a nearby restaurant.

During the conversation, the individual claimed he was a doctor and told Jorge, quite a frail old man, that he had something that would cure him. Although Jorge was a bit dubious, the smooth talking individual won over his confidence and he soon believed that for a mere 400 dollars this man would give him a miracle cure.

The con man convinced Jorge to take him back to his sister-in-law’s apartment and give him traveller’s cheques to the value of 400 dollars. He also commented on his wife’s sore leg and turned his attention to Jorge’s sister-in-law, a lady in her 90s, and told her that he was a qualified doctor going by the name of António Ataide Lobo, who had trained in Coimbra and worked in Cascais Hospital.

He told her he could cure her of her back trouble with a series of injections to be taken over eight days. He took her name and address and the traveller’s cheques to the value of 400 dollars. His only problem was the bank would only cash the cheques if they were signed in front of the teller. So Dr. António rang Jorge and arranged to meet with him in Cascais on Monday at 11am to go to the bank and cash the traveller’s cheques.

I was told of Jorge’s story so I went along with the family to confront Dr. António Lobo. After we were introduced, he immediately went from speaking English to Portuguese and said he did not understand me. However, once I told him we were writing a report for a newspaper and took his photograph, he ran off. Anyone who is approached by this heavily set man, around 30 years of age, with a Indian or Goan type face, should avoid him.