"Operation Final Route". MEP Álvaro Amaro constituted defendant – The Economic Journal

On Wednesday, a note posted on the website of the Coimbra District Attorney General's Office (PGDC) reported that four people, including former governors, municipal officials and a transport company, had been indicted in this investigation , which investigates an alleged fraudulent scheme of addiction to public procurement procedures.

According to the police source, a fifth person, who was abroad, arrived in Portugal on Wednesday and was also later accused.

Several media reports today that the former presidents of the Lamego and Armamar chambers (Francisco Lopes and Hernâni Almeida, respectively), an employee of the Lamego chamber and an administrator of the Transdev Group are the other four defendants.

On Wednesday, the Judicial Police (PJ) carried out searches for 18 municipal councils in the North and Center of Portugal, and the public transport operator Transdev was also one of the visas.

The PGDC note explains that the "investigation is intended to clarify the terms under which the Transdev Group obtained contracts and financial compensation with municipalities in the North and Central areas of the country".

"At issue are indications of influence peddling, economic participation and corruption, among other crimes. The investigation is in secret of justice and the investigations continue in the Police Judiciary ", adds the note of the PGDC.

Among the 18 municipalities targeted are nine PSD-governed: Almeida, Armamar, Braga, Fundão, Guarda, Oleiros, Sertã, Pinhel and Tarouca.

Seven municipalities have socialist presidencies: Belmonte, Barcelos, Cinfães, Lamego, Moimenta da Beira, Oliveira de Azeméis and Soure.

The Câmara de Oliveira do Bairro is run by a CDS-PP mayor and Águeda by an elected member of an independent movement.

In the Chamber of the Guard, the vice-president of the PSD Alvaro Amaro resigned to the mandate to be member of the European Parliament, following the elections of 26 of last May, leaving to preside to the county its old vice-president.

According to official data available on portal base.gov, since the beginning of 2018, Transdev has accumulated more than two million euros in 38 contracts by direct agreement with municipalities of the North and Center of the country.

In the last year, according to the base.gov, the municipality of Guarda carried out contracts for direct adjustment with Transdev of almost half a million euros and Lamego of almost 100 thousand euros.

In addition to school transportation and, in some municipalities, to ensure urban public transport, Transdev, which has about 1,900 employees, holds 11 companies and participates in Internorte, Intercentro, Rede Nacional de Expressos, Renex and Tejo Rodoviária, according to information available on your site.

Altogether, 50 searches were carried out by the Northern Board of the PJ, with the support of several criminal investigation departments and the Center's Board of Directors, as part of an investigation by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Coimbra

The operation, codenamed "Final Route", involved 200 elements of the Judiciary Police, among inspectors, computer experts, financial experts and accounting.

"With the concerted performance of senior managers of public transportation companies, with great implementation in the national territory with the intervention of ex-councilors as consultants, benefiting from their knowledge, decisions will have been influenced at the local level, favoring the conclusion of public contracts provision of transport services, excluding the competition rules, attribution of undue financial compensation and damage to the public purse, "said the PJ, in a statement on this case.

Also in the recruitment of employees there will have been situations of favor, according to the PJ.

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