Facebook leads to ‘downfall’ of GNR ‘godfather’

Spur-of-the-moment Facebook posts helped investigators unravel an Ariadne’s thread of accusations that this week see 17 ‘arguidos’ – including a GNR lieutenant colonel dubbed ‘the godfather’ – finally facing trial for corruption.

Jorge Ferrão is accused of running a scheme that reeled in three police colleagues and centred on selling inside information to businesses about looming ‘checks’ to their premises by fiscal authorities.

According to Évora’s fiscal action unit, favours paid to the GNR men came in the form of cheeses, fruit, vegetables, wine, perfume, olive oil and even sexual services.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã suggests that on one Bank Holiday in December 2015, Ferrão benefitted from sexual services “twice in the same day”.

Businessman António Louro – one of 14 proprietors cited in the case – is alleged to have paid for the services, alongside a drinks bill for over €300.

While most of the ‘arguidos’ have awaited trial at liberty, Ferrão and his alleged co-conspirators have been held in preventive custody for the best part of a year, says the paper, adding that evidence cited by prosectors includes “the ostentation of designer clothes, top-of-the-range cars” and images of numerous celebratory meals posted onto Facebook.

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