Clever conmen swindle €2.1 million from Portuguese state

A group of four accomplished conmen swindled an incredible €2.1 million from Portuguese state entities, including hospitals, universities, town halls and even a jail. Their MO was simple. They claimed to be service providers and once they had ‘gained the trust’ of their victims, they then informed them that banking details had changed. Money received was then transferred offshore. The PJ’s anti-corruption squad finally caught up with the scam this week.

But the full extent of money ‘stolen’ remains unknown as much of it has been transferred to offshore ‘havens’.

According to news reports, the State wasn’t the only victim in this widespread con that damaged private companies and even banks as well.

The four defendants, aged between 22 and 37, were arrested in police swoops on addresses in Lisbon, Setúbal, Évora, Faro and Madeira.

They are described as being men “without occupations” who drove around in Porsches and spent money on VIP travel all over the world.