Weekly Crime Prevention and Enforcement Report – 25th June 2020


El Pibe” investigation: 12 people have been charged with crimes of trafficking in human beings

The Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action has brought charges against 12 people, charging them with crimes of human trafficking, criminal association, forgery of documents and money laundering, following an investigation by SEF, into a criminal network, who had been operating for several years in the Aveiro / Albergaria-a-Velha area and lived off the sexual exploitation of several Romanian women, who prostituted themselves on the public road.

As part of the “El Pibe” operation, which took place on June 4, 2019, when preventive detention was imposed on seven of the defendants, SEF carried out eight arrest warrants, carried out 12 house searches and 12 car searches, having seized six vehicles, as well as gold, jewellry, money and false documents, during the operation, searches were made to two money transfer agencies as well as a travel agency.

This group that operated in Portugal, and in other countries of the European Union, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the victims, coming from unstructured families, with low economic incomes and deficient self-esteem, with episodes of domestic violence and consumption of alcohol and narcotics.

The alleged victims, all women, did not engage in the practice of prostitution of their own free will, were allegedly forced to prostitute themselves and deprived of their human dignity. According to the prosecution, they were allegedly exploited and used to earn money, to pay debts and “commissions” imposed by the leader of the criminal association, providing large financial earnings (around 70 thousand euros / year) to the exploiters.

Foreigner subject of arrest warrant identified in Faro with 4-year-old son

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) have arrested a foreign citizen in Faro who was the subject of an extradition arrest warrant issued by Spain for the involvement of various crimes in the neighbouring country, some related to violent and serious crimes.

In a statement, SEF said that under the foreign citizen had been the subject “of a prison sentence of 4 ½ years for the crime of aggravated injuries which was suspended: a crime of domestic violence and prohibition of contact with the victim”.

The same source says, however, that the detainee was in Portugal accompanied by a child (4 years old), who had been “deprived of seeing his mother for approx. three months”.

Steps were taken by the Regional Directorate for the Algarve, with the collaboration of the Spanish authorities via the Castro Marim Police and Customs Cooperation Center and with the Faro Children and Youth Protection Commission, to locate the child who was returned to the parent who resides in Spain.

Elderly person “abandoned” at a bus stop in Viana was assisted by PSP

The CDU councillor in the Viana do Castelo Council, Cláudia Marinho, reported to the PSP the alleged “abandonment” of an elderly person in a wheelchair at a bus stop by a local Continuing Care Unit (UCC).

Cláudia Marinho stated to Lusa, “The situation of the elderly person, in a wheelchair, left next to the Areosa bus stop, around 11:00 am, was brought to my attention because of the fact that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, there is a reduction in public transport and that many buses do not have accessibility for people with reduced mobility”

Cláudia Marinho, social worker at the Family Service Office (GAF) in Viana do Castelo, told Lusa that when approaching the elderly person, she learned that he was waiting for transport to the district of Porto, to the city of Gondomar, where he is from.

“In conversation with him, I learned that he was admitted to a care home in Bella Vida, in Areosa. He said that he had signed a term of responsibility to leave the home and that he had been transported to the bus stop by a nurse. I called the unit, nobody answered and notified the PSP”, she specified.

According to Rui Conde of the PSP the man was taken to the police station and having been provided with food, at around 18:00 Social Security went there to transport him to his residence in Gondomar”.

Exploiting isolation: offenders and victims of online child sexual abuse during the covid-19 pandemic

Video calls with friends and family, social media interaction, online games, educational use: during the corona lockdown children’s lives promptly shifted even further from the real world into an online virtual one.

Sex offenders have found in this development a tempting opportunity to access a broader group of potential victims. The report published by Europol shines a light on the increased sharing of child sexual exploitation images online and how to confront this serious threat to children’s safety.

Download more details from EUROPOL here

Prime Minister announces more policemen in the streets and with more powers against illegal parties

The prime minister has announced that the government will pass legislation on Thursday that will allow police to reinforce their presence in the streets, with increased powers to prosecute organizers and participants in illegal parties.

This measure, which was advanced by António costa at a press conference, will be approved by the council of ministers today.

“We are going to approve a document that, providing for administrative offenses, will allow security forces to reinforce their presence on the street, but also the assessment of those who organize or participate in gatherings that are not allowed,” he declared.

“Within the framework of the entry into force of the new law decree, PSP and GNR will also reinforce their presence on the street, not only for the educational function they have exercised, but also to act in case of need”, stressed António Costa, having close the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita.

I am not going to say at this point what the value of fines to apply, but we have as a reference not to exceed the limits that would require the intervention of a law of the Assembly of the Republic. This way, the measure would take longer to be adopted”, justified the executive’s leader.

Quarteira – Arrested for drug trafficking

Faro’s Territorial Command, through the Criminal Investigation Core (NIC) of Loulé, on June 20, arrested a 37-year-old man, for drug trafficking, in Quarteira.

The arrest was carried out in connection with a drug trafficking investigation, started a year ago, with the suspected suspect in trafficking between intermediaries who in turn made direct sale to consumers.

The action involved two home search warrants and three in vehicles that made it possible to seize the following material: 523 individual doses of MDMA; 32 doses of cocaine; two precision scales; a laptop computer; two mobile phones and 1010 euros in cash.

The operation was also reinforced by the Quarteira Territorial Sub-Detachment.

Loulé – Competition bicycle recovered

The Faro Territorial Command, through the Criminal Investigation Center (NIC) of Loulé, yesterday, June 23, recovered a professional bicycle and a spare wheel.

The bike was stolen in November 2018 in the Seixal area, and was recovered after a complaint that it was going to be sold in Loulé. The 37-year-old suspect was intercepted when he delivered the bike to the buyer in a street.

The bicycle has already participated in the “Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta” race, and is valued at 9000 euros. The wheel has a value of 800 euros and both items are part of the proceeds from the theft of sports equipment linked to cycling for a total value of 160 thousand euros.

The seller was constituted accused and the facts forwarded to the Seixal Judicial Court.