Portuguese couple investigated for fraudulent donations to help people in Ukraine – war in Ukraine

Portuguese authorities are investigating a couple living in Portugal and asking for donations to help people and animals in Ukraine, after allegations of fraud, Lusa approached some of them.

At least three people contacted by Lusa have accused a couple living in Portugal of fraud, using the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as a country invaded by Russia in February, according to the Attorney General’s Office, to have already opened the case. A process.

The war mobilized countless organizations, ready to help people and then animals. As for animals, many companies have used social media to appeal to transportation and subsequent adoption, in which context the Portuguese Rui de Sosa and the Ukrainian Alina Kozak will offer their services to pick up food and medicine. Donation is requested.

Debra Mychad, who lives in Chicago, said he had received a contact from Rui de Souza, who said he would leave for Ukraine on a humanitarian mission to support the military and that he had ten days free to help the animals.

One activist, Debra Mychad, said she was “in contact with many families, many animals need to be rescued” and Rui Sousa promised to help “people and animals outside Mariupol”.

“He told me he only needed 1,400 euros for the trip because he had several GoFundMe campaigns running, but they didn’t raise money fast. So I thought: If I give him 1,400 euros and he pays me back, the money is coming in. And can get supplies and then be free to help these families [com animais] Who is asking for help, ”he explained.

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Debra Mychad said he had sent $ 1,550 to Lusa through the Vice Transfer platform, which would take the money with donations to Ukraine for fuel.

As the days passed, Rui de Souza continued to appeal for donations, which made Debra skeptical. “If I had already sent him what he needed, I texted him excitedly asking why you were raising money instead of hitting the road.”

According to Debra Michaud, Rui de Sousa has put forward a number of reasons, first in Ukraine and then in Poland, until he learns from someone that he will be in Portugal.

“At that point I realized it was a scam and I started to find others who were deceived in it,” he said.

The couple would have formed several groups on Facebook – originally Saudal Nova and now Slava UA – where they would repeatedly post photos of animals in need of redemption, others claiming to have been saved and still claiming to have purchased items. With collected donations.

Aline Cossack also created the Power of Peace page, which “provides a small organization, shelter, medical care and distribution to people and animals”.

The names mentioned in the organization group are Aline Kozak, Rui de Sousa and Józef Reba and MBWay number, for donations, is Rui de Sousa’s mobile phone, which is used on other pages (Souta Nova and Slava UA).

Rui de Sousa denies the allegations, saying he only wants to get supplies to Ukraine and that he has been the target of unsubstantiated attacks on people involved in illegal activities such as animal trafficking.

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He confessed to Luca that he would take all the accused to court, not to mention the amount he had collected so far, claiming that he would buy all the items he would send once the donation was received.

Ann Holwood, a Belgian who lives in Romania, has built a shelter for stray dogs and volunteered to take animals rescued from war scenes in Ukraine.

“Our teams rescued the dogs from all over Ukraine and we provided tons of food and supplies to those who stayed,” he told Lusa.

At the time, Ann found out about the whereabouts of Alina Kozak and Rui de Sousa, realizing that they were abusing photos of food deliveries made by her group and another on their Facebook page (Sotal Nova) in Kharkiv and Odessa.

Both are using the page of Laika Global Rescue, an organization founded on.

“They are criminals, they are in Portugal pretending to be in Ukraine,” he charged.

In Portugal, Carlos Gomez, president of the 1122 Association, which works in the defense sector and provides technical training and humanitarian support, has been involved in fundraising for fuel, materials and pharmaceuticals.

“Our purpose was clear: medical aid in the refugee areas, food distribution to the military unit in Lviv, diapers and supplies for the children in the orphanage and animal feed. On our way back, we brought a pair with three dogs,” he told Lusa. .

While preparing the work and collecting funds and resources, Rui de Souza received a note that he was doing similar acts and tried to contact him, but he got no answer.

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“When he posted on our page what we had raised, what we had, what we were going to do, he also contacted us saying he was interested in going into our caravan,” he said.

At that time, he added, Soutal Nova realized that page 1122 was publishing pictures of the items collected by the association and an appeal for donations with Rui de Sousa’s account number.

“I contacted him and he said he could not ask for humanitarian assistance on personal accounts and that people should justify what he received because they were in so much trouble,” he recalled, claiming he had been ignored by Rui de Souza.

“When we went to Ukraine to carry out our mission, he continued to post pictures of us leaving, and solicited donations from his personal account,” he said.

When he returned from Ukraine, he complained to PJ de Aveiro that Carlos Gomez had committed fraud against Rui de Souza.

Contacted by Lusa, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) source said that an investigation was underway in the DIAP region de Coumbra and that the information obtained indicated facts that could be part of a fraud crime. According to information gathered by Lusa, there are complaints in other countries, namely the United States.

Rui de Souza told Lusa that he was not aware of any ongoing investigations and that no official had contacted him so far.

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