A third high-ranking figure in Olhão council has been arrested on suspicion of passive corruption.
The 65-year-old engineer was arrested by PJ police yesterday (Wednesday).
For the time being his identity has been kept from the press though various photographs are circulating over social media (see update below).
The thrust of the public ministry’s case against him are that he charged €1000 for every building works licence that came under his nose, ensuring they got preferential treatment, explains Correio da Manhã.
The engineer worked in the council’s private building works department and is cited for “crimes of passive corruption”.
Two further men – described by CM as “an Englishman and a Portuguese lawyer” – have been constituted “arguidos” (official suspects).
Both are believed to be under suspicion of having paid the engineer to “facilitate the licensing” of projects.
The arrests took place early on Wednesday morning as teams of investigators searched the engineer’s home and office at the town hall.
“Personal and work computers were apprehended”, says a report in today’s paper suggesting that there are “close to 10 situations” in which the engineer is suspected of having “participated”.
The arrests yesterday stem from an anonymous tip-off “connected to another case” which involved two female council inspectors who have already lost their jobs having been found guilty of theft and corruption with regard to the construction of a warehouse.
Both women were handed three-year jail terms, suspended.
The engineer has now been named as António Reis.
Tabloid CM says he left a three-hour round of questioning from a judge from DIAP (the department of investigation and penal action) yesterday “in silence” after hearing his bail terms.
These include being ‘released from his functions’, prohibited from exercising his activity as an engineer, entering the town hall building where he worked or contacting any of the other people involved in the case.