Belgian 'Prince of Transylvania' held in Portugal: police

30th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Belgian who dubbed himself the Prince of Transylvania has been detained in Portugal on suspicion of fraud, police said on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old, who was not identified, is being held in preventative detention after being questioned, police said in a statement.

He is suspected of several counts of fraud, money laundering, criminal association and falsifying two bank guarantees worth EUR 170 million (USD 250 million).

Police said they opened their investigation, dubbed Operation Postponed Kingdom, in 2006 after receiving complaints from two Portuguese banks.

They arrested another Belgian national in February as part of the same investigation. He is also being held in preventative detention.

To obtain their bank guarantees the suspects falsely claimed to be developing an aeronautical components parts factory.

According to police they requested more than EUR 500 million when they presented the project to several banks in four different Portuguese cities.


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