For now they are not being named in the press, though local disgrace swept through the parish of Pêra on Tuesday after two former directors of Cantina Social – a social security funded children’s creche and tuition centre – were arrested, under suspicion of having ‘diverted’ over €95,000 worth of public money into their private use and bank accounts.
According to a statement by Portimão’s PJ judicial police, the pair – a man aged 49 and a woman aged 50 – “bought goods for themselves, diverted money into their personal accounts and used, exclusively, assets belonging to the IPSS (social security supported) institution”.
Says national tabloid Correio da Manhã, the two ex-directors face suspicions of “qualified abuse of confidence, infidelity, qualified fraud, falsification of documents and IT falsification”.
The issues date back to 2012 when the pair were in charge of Pêra’s Cantina Social, supported by Silves Borough Council and the local parish council.
The two left last year following an anonymous tip-off that all was not well with the Cantina Social accounts, explains CM.
Pêra parish council president João Palma said of the arrests, that he “hopes justice will be done, as everything indicates that these two people greatly prejudiced the institution”.
The man and woman have been presented before magistrates and freed on the understanding that they will report every two weeks to the authorities.
CM adds that the pair has been prohibited from communicating with any of the other people involved in the case.