Sócrates fraud probe hones in on Lisbon’s Deutsche Bank

Days after super-judge Carlos Alexandre swooped on Lisbon’s Barclays Bank, allegedly to seize accounts relating to Sócrates fraud probe, aka Operation Marquês (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/%E2%80%9Csuper-judge%E2%80%9D-swoops-on-barclays-in-s%C3%B3crates-corruption-probe), the “Mourinho of the Justice System” was back in action again, this time honing in on the capital’s branches of Deutsche Bank.

According to SIC Notícias, the Public Ministry, AT tax authority and Alexandre suspect the German bank holds the key to “the hidden property empire that Sócrates and Carlos Santos Silva wanted to construct”.

This week’s searches were “designed to verify which properties were used to construct the fund, and whether they were only related to the former PM and his family”.

Meantime, Sócrates and his long-term friend, millionaire businessman Carlos Santos Silva, remain in preventive custody on suspicion of active corruption, qualified fraud and money laundering.

According to Correio da Manhã this morning, a total of 15 banks are believed to be in the eye of the investigation that involves corrupt deals amounting to as much as €20 million.

“i” newspaper described one ‘find’ in the Barclay’s search last week of €1 million in a safety deposit box.

Other accounts under scrutiny are said to exist at BPI, BCP, CGD and Montepio Geral.

Trying to put some perspective on the amounts involved, CM carries an illustration today of the €1 million found at Barclays, set against the image of Sócrates himself.

In €100 notes, the pile stretches way over the former prime minister’s head to a height of 2 metres.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]