A court in Luxembourg commenced on 16th May the hearing of two Luxembourg nationals accused of cheating hundreds of Portuguese immigrants, promising them cheap flights to Portugal that did not materialise.
The case dates back to 2013 when Transline Tours, with its headquartered in Howald, on the outskirts of the Luxembourg capital, launched a campaign announcing tickets “at a fair price” to Porto and Lisbon, with posters in Portuguese and a website created For this purpose.
Charter flights cost € 295 (round trip) and are scheduled for July to September 2013, with tickets to be purchased by February of that year.
Hundreds of Portuguese citizens bought tickets from the Luxembourg travel agency, but in June 2013 the company announced that the flights would be cancelled, alleging bankruptcy of the contracted airline.
However, according to the prosecutor’s spokeswoman, the travel agent’s partners – both accused in the process – would have sold the plane tickets without hiring a carrier to secure the flights.
The two men then have proposed repaying the value of tickets sold, while refusing to compensate defrauded customers.
The former officials of the Luxembourg travel agency are accused of fraud, misleading advertising and breach of trust.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, it is now up to the judges to decide whether the accused acted “deliberately” to “deceive people” or whether they were “totally incompetent.”
The bankruptcy of the company was enacted on May 20, 2015, but it is only now that the criminal process has commenced.
The case involves at least 112 injured parties (in some cases, with several tickets bought), but not all civil parties were constituted in the process to be compensated, Lusa was told by the Office of the Prosecutor.