Portuguese police chief steps down in Freemasonry scandal
March 17, 1999
LISBON - Portuguese Justice Minister Jose Vera Jardim Wednesday confirmed that judicial director Fernando Negrao had resigned over allegations that he leaked information about the criminal activities of a Freemasonic lodge to the press.
Negrao stepped down Tuesday after being accused of leaking a secret service document containing information about the "black" lodge Fenix, illegal and not recognized by the official Freemasons.
The lodge is suspected of channeling criminal money to the Lisbon Modern University (UML) through the company Dinensino which manages the university's finances.
The money proceeded from drug and arms trafficking and prostitution rings in Italy, was laundered in Swiss banks and channeled to Spain and Portugal, the daily Diario de Noticias said Wednesday.
The Portuguese secret service was investigating the case with the help of the Italian and Swiss secret services, according to the daily.