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Posted by portugalpress on May 11, 2018

Former secretary of state for industry João Vasconcelos has been named as one of the arguidos in a new investigation into the alleged fraudulent use of EC funds.

Also said to be facing charges is the son of former Portuguese prime minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão, and Vasconcelos’ own wife.

The story was ‘broken’ by Sábado earlier this week and has since been splashed over national media.

The gist of the investigation is that an inquiry is ongoing “related with fraud in the attainment of a subsidy”.

Details are described as “covered by Portugal’s secrecy of justice” - but as the term increasingly appears elastic, certain aspects are already in the public domain.

Say reports, DCIAP (central department of investigation) agents searched Vasconcelos’ home in Cascais last month, along with the Estoril home of Francisco Maria Balsemão and the offices of ‘think energy’ business ECO Choice.

Central to the inquiry appears to be the investment of community funds into a business “held by” Vasconcelos’ wife.

When he was in parliament, Vasconcelos was a key player in the creation of Lisbon’s Web Summit, which has now become something of a national institution, attracting tech companies from all over the world.

He came a cropper in 2016 when it was discovered that he was one of a number of politicians, both national and local, who had accepted free plane trips to Euro championship games from GALP, which owes the government hundreds of millions of euros (click here).