Monchique council worker suspected of fiddling €500,000

A Monchique local authority employee is under investigation suspected of swindling €500,000 of public funds by falsifying documents, according to the Portuguese press.

António Mira, an alderman elected in 2009, is believed to have altered dates on old invoices which were then re-presented in order to obtain an illegal payment, it was claimed in a report by Correio da Manhã newspaper.

When the alleged offences were first detected, police informed the department of Public Prosecution and recommended a further probe. The tax authorities conducted a more in-depth inspection and discovered further anomalies, which raised the estimated €300,000 misappropriated to €500,000.

This information was divulged at a meeting of the local authority last week, where they decided to institute legal proceedings.

The police investigation was launched after an official audit by the local administration.

At the moment, Mira is still carrying out his duties as alderman.