Millionaire Amadora con-man on run after sawing through electronic bracelet

A smooth-talking con-man who made millions by selling billionaires’ properties “from under their noses” has pulled yet another ‘sting’. João Moura was “at home” on an electronic bracelet when he heard the judge ruling on his recent fraud trial was planning to send him to prison. He promptly sawed through his jailbird “bling” and has apparently “disappeared”. His lawyer says she does not know where he is.

What is extraordinary about this latest twist in the kind of story that films are made of is that Moura had been extradited from Brazil to face trial in Portugal.

Anyone who has been reading this site for a while will know there are no extradition agreements between Brazil and Portugal – despite the two countries’ centuries of shared history.

Thus all manner of felons are often left to get away scot-free.

Right now, Brazil is appealing for former PSD MP Duarte Lima to be extradited from Portugal to face trial for murder – and despite the fact that Brazil’s judge Ricardo Pinheiro Machado has said there is “no doubt” that Lima is guilty, very little appears to be happening.

Meantime, Lima too is on electronic bling, in the relative splendor of his own “house arrest”, as he appeals a 10-year jail sentence in Portugal for his part in the Homeland fraud investigation.

Whether Lima is aware of Moura’s escape remains to be seen.

For now police are reported to have visited Moura’s home in Amadora, and that of his parents.

Moura, Lima and many other high-profile people are able to appeal jail sentences in Portugal and remain “free” as the process goes through all the legal motions.

Another convicted felon, whose prosecution and subsequent trial was billed as the “longest and one of the most expensive” in Portugal, is today reported to be travelling “regularly” between Portugal and Brazil, and building up a new business empire (see separate story).

In Moura’s case, he was described at his trial as the king-pin in an incredible scam that literally conned people out of the homes they owned.

Posing as the owner of swanky chunks of real estate, equipped with all kinds of falsified documents, Moura was described as having made well over €20 million from audacious heists which came to light in 2011 when African diamond billionaire Renato Teixeira Hermínio contacted the PJ to say he had received an email from a company of lawyers informing him that land he had in Cascais’ luxury Quinta da Marinha complex had just been sold for €14 million.

Similar cons then came to light involving a “palacete in Oeiras”, land at Tagus Park (a Lisbon development already steeped in rumors of corruption), an apartment at Foz do Porto, and a property in Viana do Castelo.

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