A hunt has been orchestrated over social media after accountant Peter Oliver appears to have run off with as much as €17,000 from the west coast’s Arrifana Sunset Fest.
The annual festival celebrated another ‘amazing edition’ this year, only to discover afterwards that there was nothing left to show for it.
Oliver, who is described as having looked after the festival’s accountants for the last six years, has gone – presumably fleeing the country – and with him not only the takings for this year’s event, but a number of ‘deposits’ paid by people renting properties in the area.
GNR police have been informed and are said to be “investigating”.
But in the meantime, the Sunset Fest has set up a crowdfunding campaign, to try and raise the money lost in order to pay a number of performers who have yet to see their accounts settled.
Writing on Facebook, festival organisers admit; “Currently the damage is huge”.
It is not just the issue of theft that has left organizers gutted, but the “disappointment” that they employed someone for six years “who tricked us all, risking future editions”.
Posters showing images of Oliver in glasses, and dark glasses, are currently circulating the Internet in English and Portuguese.
The English version describes him as a “professional scammer” and asks that people who may know where Oliver is to “warn your local authorities immediately”.
Meantime, the crowdfunding campaign continues apace, with the target set at €10,000.
Explain organisers: “We need your help to try to make all the payments as soon as possible. Thus, we’ve decided to set a crowdfunding campaign so all of you can cooperate and be part of our festival. We are selling tickets for 2018 edition; the donations may be sent to buy a ticket or simply to be supportive. All the remaining money will be donated to the Arrifana Fishermen’s Association”.
Contributions should be sent to: https://ppl.com.pt/en/prj/arrifana-sunset-fest.
At time of writing, the campaign has so far collected €1,745.
One newspaper report has described Oliver as German, while people who knew him on the west coast say he is Canadian.
Aside from his involvement in Arrifana Sunset Fest, Oliver is understood to have run Algarvissimo Holiday Properties Aljezur.