Three men and a woman suspected of kidnapping, assault, theft and computer fraud, where the victims were several French citizens, were detained by the Judicial Police in Viseu.
In a statement sent to the Lusa news agency, the PJ stated that, after attracting the victims to Portugal, detainees “resorted to violence, deprivation of liberty and fraud” to steal “large amounts of money from them.”
According to PJ, French citizens were contacted via the internet by the woman “who persuaded them to come and spend a few days in the city of Viseu for romantic dates.” Upon arrival, the victims were taken to a luxury villa “beautifully decorated, where four members of the group [aged between 22 and 61 years] were present using false names.”
“During the first day of each victim’s stay, the suspects obtained the victims credit / debit cards and their secret codes, then use them to carry out various withdrawals and purchases,” says PJ.
It says that once the victims realized what had happened and resisted they, “were assulted and locked in one of the divisions of the house.”
In addition to the arrests, the operation of the Directorate of the Judicial Police Centre resulted in the rescue of a newly arrived victim from France.
Various items and documents were seized from the homes of the suspects during searches.
The detainees appeared the court for first judicial interrogation and one of them was held in custody and another under house arrest with electronic surveillance. The remaining two are required to present to the authorities twice a week.