Yesterday, May 16, Elad Dror, a respected member of the Jewish community in Oporto, was arrested by the police. The arrest did not take place on January 10, as the Portuguese press then reported, based on an anonymous source. The arrest came more than four months later, on the day the European Jewish Association ended its annual meeting in Oporto.
The operation that led to the arrest of Elad Drod, entitled "Babel", in an allusion to the story told in Bereshit, has to do with real estate deals. The details of the accusation and the supporting evidence are not known. It is however known that the investigation started with an anonymous denunciation.
A handful of journalists who for a year invested their time and efforts on a case that the Court of Appeal reduced to "nothing", today published that Dror is Portuguese and that his wife and his partners of business, all Israelis, are awaiting the Portuguese nationality, after having been certified by the Jewish Community of Oporto.
An associate of Elad's in non-real estate businesses told PJN, "We're all under attack. Our names are in the newspapers. We all turn up linked to bad things. No one has ever thanked us for the jobs and investment of 800 millions we brought to Portugal, as well as no one has thanked the community for what it does every day regarding the education of Portuguese teenagers."
Gabriel Senderowicz, the President of the Oporto Jewish Community stated today that "Regardless of the real estate deals at stake, any particular case is used to attack the whole community. The Sephardim are presented as the migrants that Portugal does not need. Even the former director of mossad already appeared in the newspapers linked to supposed Wikipedia tricks. The Oporto Jewish Community has already informed Elad Dror's family that we will help them with whatever they need."
Also yesterday, the Institute of Registries and Notary (IRN) informed the Jewish Community of Oporto that it "concluded the audit in the scope of nationality and generally considered that the procedures followed were correct".
The IRN statement came three weeks after a letter from the Community that accused it of having been used in a Soviet style antisemitic action, and demanded the "report that the institute has been preparing for more than a year on the law of the Sephardim, and that was presented by the Portuguese press as targeting that Community".
The Community wrote in that letter that "The registrars responsible for the IRN inquiry have always known that the Jewish Community of Oporto and its leadership had no relations, much less illicit ones, with the registry offices. Yet, they did nothing when they saw Kadoorie Synagogue being invaded like a brothel, the Community destroyed, the Chief Rabbi being transported to Lisbon for alleged “active corruption” of the registrars. The CIP/CJP was left to burn", it added.
IRN rejected "any responsibility for the alleged slander, persecution or crimes that have been committed against the Community, whatever the reason that motivates them, occurrences that, having happened, we deeply regret, and being certain that the Community will not fail to activate the appropriate legal means to hold those who perpetrated them accountable".