A Chinese businessman and two Portuguese security guards have been arrested today over the fire in a sought-after tourist residential district of Porto that killed one man and saw five neighbours requiring assistance in hospital.
Say reports this morning, “the suspects set light to the building a week earlier”.
The second fire, on March 2, resulted in sitting tenant António Gonçalves being “carbonised” (click here).
The three men arrested are described as aged 20-40.
The two security guards have criminal records, said a statement by PJ police.
The trio will now appear in court for preliminary questions.
Say police: “The fires will have been provoked by the suspects with recourse to an accelerant to combustion on two distinct dates, the second of which took on very serious proportions which resulted in the death of one of the residents”.
Suspicions that the fires had been started deliberately have been ever-present in this story.
Days after the tragedy tabloid Correio da Manhã carried a report claiming “property speculators in Porto” were ‘using sophisticated psychological ploys’ to menace both tenants and landlords with a view to securing buildings ripe for tourist holiday rentals.
The tactics have seen complaints double in the last two years, said the paper, stressing that the fire that killed Gonçalves was in a building purchased by an agency traced to a Chinese investment company (click here).