Otamendi Assault. PJ removed GNR from the case

By Felícia Cabrita and Vítor Rainho

It all started a few hours before the final scene. Four men, duly hooded, make a hole in a net behind golf course 2, next to Herdade da Apostiça, and go to the house of Otamendi, a Benfica player, who was still on the way after playing in Famalicão , where Clube da Luz won 4-1. The men placed themselves next to the garage of the player’s house, at Herdade da Aroeira, on the south bank, and stayed there until the footballer appeared.

Inside the estate, it is suspected that other accomplices have entered the condominium’s official door and have remained hidden. When the clock was approaching one in the morning, from Sunday to Monday, Otamendi appears at the door of the house and is immediately secured with a belt, which will have been placed around his neck. From there, the terror began.

The player, already inside the house, will have been placed in the bathroom with one of the children and the wife in another compartment with the daughter, allowing the robbers to walk around the house where they ‘miraculously’ found around three hundred thousand euros, in addition to watches and valuable jewelry. According to sources close to the process, the employee responsible for the children would also be at home.

It is estimated that the player took close to two hours before he managed to escape from the bathroom, at which point he would have called a security guard, with whom he would have made the first outbursts. Then came the GNR, which will have used the internal images of the house, which are not, or were not, connected to any security center. The Judiciary Police only arrived in the morning. And other problems start here, not least because, presumably, Otamendi said, in his first statement to the GNR, that he had a pistol pointed at his head. If so, the GNR only had to notify the PJ because it was a crime of kidnapping using firearms.

But it wasn’t like that. The GNR and the PJ did not immediately communicate with each other because the GNR military understood that part of the investigation belonged to them – that of the robbery. Everything would get worse a few hours later, as the GNR receives information that the suspects would be in the Porto Brandão area. The GNR detachments from Almada, Charneca da Caparica and Trafaria advance towards the location and the result was not the best, as the alleged assailants managed to escape. In between they left an Audi A4, as well as a white Mercedes. Therefore, says a source linked to the process, the group was larger than suspected.

On Tuesday, the newspaper i made headlines with the news of the GNR confrontation and, after 4 pm, the PJ, for the first time, was informed by the GNR that this force will have chased a white Mercedes in the area of Trafaria. But important details were not communicated, namely, that they had spotted the suspects, in addition to not having called the institution’s own special operations group, as they were facing a group of dangerous assailants.

On Wednesday, the ‘lie’ continued. It had been decided that the PJ would handle the kidnapping case and the GNR the theft, since officially there was no weapon. It is difficult for ordinary mortals to understand that such a case should be split between two special forces.

However, according to a police source interviewed by Nascer do SOL, these cases, despite not being very normal, can happen: «In theory, if one of the investigations is more advanced than the other, the investigations, which follow in separate. But if the two investigations are at the beginning, it’s a good idea to join them. Here, it makes sense to be the PJ to keep the process. Because if the PJ’s crime is not the responsibility of the GNR, as in the case of kidnapping, then the GNR’s goes to the other police. Even because one of the crimes is more serious than the other».

The story, as it is good to see, does not remind anyone, except the actors of a deaf ‘war’ between police forces. But let’s recap not to miss any details: there is a robbery on Otamendi’s house, the GNR is the first to arrive, after the security of the property, and observes the player’s homemade video surveillance images, as they are not connected to any central .

That morning, and a few hours have passed, the PJ arrives and observes the same images, not noticing that there are more cameras in the estate. Right at the entrance to the condominium, which supposedly only films license plates, and the cameras in the commercial area, which have a much wider area, allowing you to see which cars enter the property and circulate there. And the GNR was looking for these videos, as a guard told the SOL.

The most unusual thing is that there were more images that were only discovered on Thursday, precisely that of the nearby houses that allowed us to see the movements of the six alleged robbers: four who entered and left through the Apostiça network and the other two who were inside.

Confused? The PJ also understood this and on Thursday decided to remove the GNR from the entire investigation. For the avoidance of doubt: the PJ and the GNR were for four days investigating the same story, but from different angles, until on Thursday the GNR was removed from the case, although this force has not yet given up on investigating because of its account and risk, as a military source told the Sunrise.

burly robbers

The attackers’ performance is reminiscent, at all, of foreign groups that assaulted players in the United Kingdom and Spain, as revealed by newspaper i in Tuesday’s edition. Burly, they spoke Russian and Spanish.

On Thursday night, APRHA – Association of Owners and Residents at Herdade da Aroeira – issued the following statement: «Only thanks to the security we have implemented at the estate, in conjunction with the private security of Benfica players [ver caixa], we managed to provide the investigators with essential data, namely that the robbers did not enter or leave through the gate and that they headed towards the Apostiça network. For this reason, there will be a round on the perimeter surrounding Aroeira».

Two years ago, robberies at the Herdade followed one another at an impressive rate, but after changing security companies they dropped considerably. But the area, in addition to the estate, has many detached houses, in Verdizela, Belverde, in addition to Aroeira itself. Places where other robberies took place in the same night.

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Otamendi Assault. PJ removed GNR from the case