On Wednesday, the GNR arrested ten men and one woman, aged between 25 and 66, for committing the crime of corruption in the private sector of publication distribution, in the Sintra and Lisbon region. The group had an illicit distribution channel for newspapers and magazines and would have caused damages of hundreds of thousands of euros to the State and to various media companies. More than 41 thousand euros, weapons and publications were seized, as well as 13 vehicles, among other objects.
The investigation carried out following the complaint by VASP, the distribution company injured in this scheme, has been carried out since 2021, by the Criminal Investigation Nucleus of the Lisbon Territorial Command, and allowed to establish that the suspects, “taking advantage of their professional functions, created in the Lisbon region, a scheme for selling publications (newspapers and magazines) to the public, illicitly and in parallel with the regular distribution channel, disregarding competition rules, obtaining undue income and monetary compensation”, says the GNR.
The scheme created generated a decrease in revenue for the State and for the injured companies, namely in publishers, VASP and points of sale, with a loss of several hundred thousand euros per year.
Eleven house search warrants were carried out, six in establishments and 19 in vehicles and among those arrested are employees of the distribution company, drivers and owners or employees of points of sale.
Illicit publications from various media were seized (written press), 41,388.29 euros in cash, 21 mobile phones, 13 vehicles, a modified pistol, two shotguns, a compressed air rifle, 51 cartridges, a box of 4.5 mm, 15 ammunition of unknown caliber, a brass knuckle, an extendable stick, five computer equipment and a CCTV equipment,
The detainees will be present this Thursday at the Judicial Court of Sintra to apply the coercive measures.
The operation, revealed the GNR, was carried out by the Lisbon Territorial Command, with the support of the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Tax Action Unit, with the collaboration of the PSP. “The investigation took place in conjunction with the 3rd section of the DIAP of Sintra, on economic and financial crime”, underlined the Guard.