Albufeira de Castelo de Bode

Searches for “cybersecurity magnate” to be re-evaluated

“Facts don’t add up”, say authorities

The strange story of a ‘50-year-old businessman who went missing while on a boat trip with his much younger girlfriend’ is still running today, almost eight full days since Ricardo Fraga Costa ‘disappeared’ in the Castelo de Bode area of the Zêzere river on what was otherwise a very normal Sunday afternoon.

At the beginning, Costa was simply described as ‘a businessman’; it then transpired that he was an extremely well-connected businessman at the head of a company specialised in cybersecurity, and formerly a top executive in the Sonae universe of companies.

As such, searches went ahead all last week, involving various boats, police divers and drones. There were / are a lot of ‘loose ends’ to this mystery, which may simply be a bizarre tragedy, but which could have crime at its core.

According to SIC Noticias, the facts as they have been presented simply don’t add up.

Right now, reports stress, there are no signs of crime – but the investigation is in the hands of PJ judicial police who are said to be ‘waiting’ today to know if the Public Prosecutor’s Office wants them to continue, and if so, in what form.

A divorced father of two young children, resident in Porto, Ricardo Fraga Costa was spending the weekend with his 29-year-old Brazilian girlfriend.

According to reports, they spent the Saturday night (May 6) in a hotel in the Alentejo, then lunched on the Sunday beside the river beach of Trízio, in Sertã. After lunch they rented a boat, and it was when they were in the Castelo de Bode dam area, near Fontes, Abrantes, that Mr Costa suddenly went missing during an early evening swim.

His girlfriend was in the water at the time, and made it to the shore where she sounded the alert around 8.40pm.

The boat the couple had rented was found hours later, with its lights on and the engine still running. It was undamaged and had seemingly run aground against the river bank. A small quantity of ‘drugs’ were found inside the boat, but these were only mentioned in passing as they were almost certainly ‘just for the use of the couple’.

By Natasha Donn
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