Braima Camará, a Guinea-Bissau politician, made almost €2 million in hard-cash deposits between 2014 and 2017 in two Portuguese banks and has bought four apartments in Portugal for €1,300,000, according to an Expresso investigation. Despite this evidence of money laundering, Mr. Camará is not currently under criminal investigation by the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office, nor is he a defendant in Portugal. Judicial sources who follow the reality in the tiny West African country acknowledge that the Guinean elite uses Portugal to launder money, including hiding the profits from drug trafficking. This topic has been on the agenda since 2019, when the country’s two largest cocaine seizures were made, 12 years after Guinea-Bissau was first labeled as a narco-state.
In 1994, the leader of the MADEM-G15 party was tried in Portugal in a drug trafficking case but was acquitted. In 2012, Mr. Camará was again a suspect in an inquiry about an international network of heroin distribution in Europe, which ended up being filed. And in 2017, the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal investigation on money laundering following a set of hard-cash deposits of €700,000 made by him in just one month. The case was dismissed in 2021 because of a lack of response from the Guinean authorities.
This report was originally published in Portuguese in Expresso. Read the full report below.
As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund more than 170 reporting projects every year on critical global and local issues. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!