Searches in Madeira make national news

Government connections to Pestana make national press

Expresso reporting on the searches

Miguel Albuquerque is the main target: Regional Government of Madeira targeted for searches

Headlines in Expresso

Most of the national press in Portugal report on the searches conducted yesterday by the Judiciary Police in Madeira.

Expresso reports that Elements of the Judiciary Police were on Wednesday at the premises of the vice-presidency of the Regional Government of Madeira to seize all the documentation related to the concession of the International Business Centre of Madeira – the so-called “Zona Franca” – to the Pestana Group. 

According to Expresso, the inspectors asked for all the deliberations taken by the Regional Government on the subject since 1987, when the International Business Center was granted and the Madeira Development Society was created, which manages the concession and has as shareholders the Regional Government and the Pestana Group itself. There were also searches at the headquarters of this society

The newspaper reports that tis information was confirmed by Miguel Albuquerque, current president of the Regional Government, who says that he cannot “advance anymore” because the case is under secrecy. The searches, carried out in the context of case 455 / 19.OT9FNC, which is being investigated by the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) are related to the investigation that Miguel Albuquerque is targeted for having sold Quinta do Arco in 2017, where a famous rose garden was planted, to a company with a background of commercial connections to the Pestana Group business empire.

Searches in Madeira make national news 1

Also in 2017, after the sale, the concession of the International Business Center to the Pestana Group was renewed, with the State becoming the majority shareholder. Miguel Albuquerque, who was already Mayor of Funchal and has been the head of the Government since the 2015 elections, is the main target of the investigation.

Searches continued throughout the day

Publico reports that searches continued throughout the day, with inspectors visiting the headquarters of SDM, the company that has the concession of the IBC – the free zone of Madeira – practically simultaneously, and the presidency and vice-presidency of the regional government.

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Headline in Publico.pt

Albuquerque, the Social Democrat who leads the Madeiran PSD / CDS coalition government, confirmed the searches to Publico, but he did not go on, as the case is under secrecy.

The Madeiran executive reacted at the end of the night, reaffirming his interest in “clarifying everything there is to clarify”, although he is not able to do so, as the case is in secret from the courts. Even so, he adds that, as it is “his duty”, and he was throughout the day in “close collaboration” with the PJ, supporting them in the collection of information that the Judiciary “found useful”. “As I had already done at the Regional Legislative Assembly”, the presidency of the regional government expresses in a statement, saying it expects “speed” in the investigation, so that the truth can be determined. “And so that any doubts – albeit shamefully raised by anonymous complaints and with clearly identified low-policy purposes – are properly clarified,” he adds.

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found on an earlier post

7 thoughts on “Searches in Madeira make national news”

  1. It was presumably Google Translate (or similar) that gave my some joy when reading this task (didn’t “advance”; didn’t “go on”) including the section where Miquel A. having started as a male becomes a female for a few lines!

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