Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

 In Justice, News

Portuguese ex-banker on the run, João Rendeiro, has finally been arrested in South Africa where he had been eluding justice for several months.

The BPP (Banco Privado Português) founder who escaped a 10-year jail sentence for fraud and cooking the books at the bank which collapsed during the financial crisis in 2010, now faces a lengthy extradition process which Portugal’s Prime Minister said: “everyone desires to be as fast as possible”.
“Now we have to respect the legal institutions in South Africa and wait for them to do their work”, he added, speaking in Aveiro at a meeting of the National Association of Portuguese Municipal Councils.
Rendeiro (pictured with his wife Maria de Jesus) was arrested on Saturday morning after living in several luxury hotels in Durban, three month after having fled initially to London to avoid facing justice.
But the extradition process could take up to a year, but would be much quicker if the banker agreed to the extradition process.
Luís Neves, the national director of the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJ) said that Rendeiro had reached the end of the road after having “lived it up in stye on the money from which he had defrauded BPP clients”.
“The South African authorities found João Rendeiro after we tipped them off about the situation,” he said.
The ex-banker had announced on 28 September that he was outside of Portugal and would not be returning to face a prison sentence.
At a PJ press conference given on Saturday, Luís Neves said that João Rendeiro was “surprised” when he was arrested and “hadn’t expected it”.
He added that the investigation had not been easy and was “meticulously done, with great attention to details for weeks on end”.
João Rendeiro had, he continued “done everything not to be found, using his money and technology to travel incognito, surrounding himself by advisors and buying off those who knew where he was”.
“One wrong step could have undone all of our work” said Luís Neves. The ex-president of BPP spent the weekend at a police station just 5 km from where he was arrested. João Rendeiro will be heard by a judge at a magistrate court today (Monday).
Reacting to the news of João Rendeiro’s apprehension, the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said, “No one is above the law. It was an important day for Portuguese justice and democratic institutions. When there is a court decision that should be carried out, justice must do everything to see that is done”, he said.