GNR official involved in prostitution ring

LAGOA’S GNR commander has been accused and questioned in court over his involvement in a prostitution ring that was run by the owner of the Paraíso da Música bar in Portimão.

A court case started at Portimão court on Monday against the owner of the bar, Maria Fernanda, who is accused of 37 crimes related to prostitution.

Lagoa’s GNR commander is accused of actively consenting to the illegal acts at the bar and told the court that there had been no exchange of sexual favours between himself and Maria Fernanda saying: “I only met the accused twice and spoke to her on the phone.”

The GNR official said: “Inspections of the bar were still carried out even after my conversations with the accused and, during one of those inspections, a girl was detained and two were found to be illegal immigrants.” When asked if he had visited the bar socially, he said that he had been two or three times but always paid.

Having been arrested on suspicion of heading a prostitution business and aiding women to enter the country from Eastern Europe and South America, Maria Fernanda said: “I ran a night club where girls danced and sold drinks. I only make my money from selling drinks and renting out rooms for 20 euros.”

Other people have been accused of signing false contracts and visa applications for foreign women to work in Portugal and declared in court that they did not know that the women would be working in the prostitution industry.

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