75,800 euros in cash found in Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff’s office

Written By Manuel Poças

During the searches connected to the investigation that led to the resignation of the Portuguese Prime Minister, the authorities found 75,800 euros in cash inside the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff’s office. 

While the Prime Minister was speaking to the country on Tuesday, announcing his resignation, the police force, the relevant judge, and the public prosecutor were conducting searches within his official residence, Palácio de São Bento.

During the search, which lasted from 2 pm until nighttime, the authorities found 75,800 euros in cash hidden inside books and empty cases of wine within Vítor Escária’s office.

According to the official statement, the Chief of Staff wanted, and managed, to conceal the illicit provenance of the money, and reinsert it into the economy to make it legitimate, knowing that such an amount resulted from the commission of a crime.

Up until now, there was nothing directly connecting the Prime Minister to the crimes committed. However, the digital evidence is yet to be analyzed. The authorities collected the Chief of Staff’s electronic agenda, emails, texts, and WhatsApp messages, in order to discover if there is any link to the Prime Minister. This will be known during the upcoming weeks.

Moreover, the authorities also searched the house of the Minister of Infrastructures, João Galamba. During the search, the authorities seized phones and computers, in order to extract and analyze the digital evidence, similar to what will happen with the Chief of Staff. Nothing illegal was found, however, the Portuguese media are reporting an apprehension of a small dose of an illicit smokable substance called hashish.

Note that, like the Chief of Staff and unlike the Prime Minister, the Minister of Infrastructure is considered a defendant.

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