Three people have been arrested today following police raids on offices at IMT (the institute of mobility and transport), the ANSR (road safety authority), ACP (Portuguese automobile club) and Lisbon’s PSP police traffic dapartment.
The focus of the investigation is systemic corruption.
According to Lusa, suspicions fall on a scheme that involves offering drivers facing prosecution “favourable decisions in exchange for money”.
People involved will have used computer databases to locate their ‘victims’.
An official source told the state news agency that the PSP’s criminal police swung into action this morning armed with two arrest warrants and 31 search warrants.Residences as well as offices were frisked.
In all, likely charges span the crimes of “criminal association, corruption, prevarication and negation of justice, document falsification, IT falsification and violation of civil service secrecy, a source has told journalists.
Diário de Notícias adds that the Lisbon prosecutor’s office confirmed that “a lawyers’ office and installations of the ACP” were also included in the searches.
The office confirmed suspicions that “elements of the PSP traffic division, public sector employees and magistrates at the ANSR, IMT, ACP and lawyers dedicated themselves, since at least 2015, to identifying drivers who were facing prosecution via IT data bases compiled by SCOR and SIGA.
“Through the exchange of pecuniary advantages, favourable decisions were obtained by drivers facing traffic offences to the extent that their data was eliminated from the national drivers’ register, or they managed to get replacement driving licences”.
One of those detained today worked for the PSP traffic division, the prosecutor’s office confirmed, adding that one also has been arrested for possessing an illegal fire arm.
According to reports, the investigation has been ongoing for the last 18 months.
Following the raids this morning, the offices of IMT in Avenida Elias Garcia remained closed, with all staff refused entry.