Wealthy Dutchman now at centre of Vale do Lobo’s connection with Sócrates investigation

With the contortions of Operation Marquês reeling in more and more information as Portugal’s DCIAP investigators follow leads across 10 countries on three continents, Expresso reveals that a wealthy Dutch businessman is now involved in the “Vale do Lobo connection” which recently saw police swoop on the luxury Algarve resort.

Jeroen van Dooren – with a fortune valued at €170 million – purchased a prestige plot on Vale de Lobo’s Ocean Clube complex in 2007.

As Expresso explains, the purchase deeds, “at least officially”, show the Dutchman paid €4.3 million for the 3453sqm plot.

“But then the story gets complicated”, as Van Dooren claims he was asked by VdL’s CEO Gaspar Ferreira to pay a further €2 million into Ferreira’s personal account “to ensure” van Dooren had the right to choose the builder of his new home and its eventual design.

The money, however, appears to have gone into the account of one of Operation Marquês’ principal defendants – former construction company boss Joaquim Barroca.

And from there it went into accounts held by Carlos Santos Silva but “whose real beneficiary” is understood to have been José Sócrates.

The story is further complicated by van Dooren’s assertions that he has “no idea” how his €2 million ended up in Barroca’s Swiss bank account, while Gaspar Ferreira is understood to “vehemently” deny van Dooren’s story and be prepared to take the matter “to the ultimate consequences” through the courts.

[email protected]