Archive for June, 2014

The Judicial Police conduct a major operation to combat trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It was reported on 26th June that the Judicial Police have conducted a nationwide operation to combat human trafficking, slavery, abduction and kidnapping for the purpose of labour exploitation. These have taken place in various locations in the districts of Beja, Faro and Guarda, as well as in Spain.

As a result seven persons were arrested (five men and two women), strongly suspected on being involved for these crimes. Two others were also arrested during the operation for other offences including possession of prohibited weapons offenses.

This action was taken in the development of several investigations that have been initiated by the Judicial Police and have revealed a broad range of criminal activities in National and Spanish territory.

From the investigation evidence has been gathered showing that six persons have been recruited by those arrested to work in agriculture and construction industry who offered them work in return a daily amount in cash, lodging, transportation and food. Nevertheless, contrary to what they had been offered they have been forced to work unpaid and were subject to threats and abuse. Evidence gathered showed that the victims were treated poorly and as “mere merchandise”.

The Judicial Police arrest a person a man for money laundering from transnational business.

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The Judicial Police, through the National Anti-Corruption Unit (UNCC), as part of an investigation by the Public Ministry (DCIAP), arrested in the Greater Lisbon area a 43-year-old businessman, for crimes of forgery document, aggravated fraud and money laundering arising from international business.

The amounts involved exceed one million euros. During the operation house searches were conducted and various materials related to the practice of criminal activity were seized. The person arrested will appear in court for appropriate remand measures to be undertaken.

 

The Judicial Police conduct an operation aimed at the illegal activity of a private security company, and arrest two of its leaders

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It was reported on 27th June that the Judicial Police, through the National Counter Terrorism Unit, in conjunction with the Central Bureau of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP), conducted a sting operation by executing several warrants at residences and non-banking institutions in the regions of Leiria, Nazaré and Póvoa de Varzim following an investigation into crimes of conspiracy, tax and money laundering.

Searches, which included senior staff of the Tax Authority, focused on the residences of suspects, as well as a private security company. The Office of Asset Recovery (GRA) PJ seized several hundred thousand euros in cash, in addition to several top of the range cars, and a boat. Two senior officials of the security company were arrested.

The arrested persons are also being held in connection with criminal association, whose activities, through this operation have been interrupted. Both defendants were present at the first court hearing in Central Court of Criminal Instruction, for application of remand conditions

GNR arrest two persons arrested for robbery in Vilamoura

Friday, June 27th, 2014

A GNR Intervention Unit which are being deployed to strengthen Operation Safe Summer in the Algarve  arrested in the early hours of 27th June 2014 two Portuguese citizens aged 18 and 25 years for robbery.

The GNR were on patrol in Vilamoura, and at 01h15, they noticed two persons in a parking lot of a restaurant threatening persons with a knife in the act of stealing items from them. The presence of the GNR caught the two persons, who are residents of Quarteira, by surprise and whilst trying to escape they were arrested.

One of the arrested persons has a record for robbery and drug trafficking. The stolen items were returned to the victims.

The persons have appeared before the Judicial District Court of Loule. The elder was placed on probation pending trial and the younger under house arrest.

 

 

GNR Silves arrest person for drug trafficking

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

On 19th June 2014 GNR Silves with the support of the GNR Intervention Unit Faro, executed a search warrant at a property in Vales de Pera, Pera.

The operation, which took place following an investigation into a crime of drug trafficking, culminating in the arrest of a citizen  aged 43 years residing locally, indicted for the crime of drug trafficking and possession of prohibited weapons.

During the search of the residence 80 individual doses of hashish, 26 meters of cannabis still in the growth phase (in pots) and 4 meters of mature cannabis already in the drying phase were seized. Also seized were 112 grams of dried cannabis leaf saltiva, an extendable baton, a baton and a taser weapon. The property contained a greenhouse for the cultivation of cannabis plants, consisting of solar panel wind turbine, which were also seized.

The detainee is to appear at the Judicial District Court of Silves for determination of remand measures

Action against metal theft puts 271 people behind bars

Friday, June 20th, 2014

It was reported on 13th June that European law enforcement authorities have sent a strong signal to the gangs of organised metal thieves who operate all over Europe, and the many scrapyards that accept all kinds of metal with ‘no questions asked’.

In a two-day operation, authorities in 20 European countries, supported by Europol, made 271 arrests, identified 146 cases of theft and checked 8300 scrap metal dealers. Checks were carried out at scrapyards, on construction sites, along border roads, railway tracks and other hot spots for metal theft. Specific scrapyards suspected of handling stolen goods were also checked. During the action days, cross-checks were made in real time with Europol’s databases.

“Metal theft is not a victimless crime – it can have a devastating impact on individuals, communities and businesses. The overall damage caused by metal theft far exceeds the value of the stolen metal itself and can severely affect key infrastructure and services such as railways, traffic controls and telecoms networks. This crime phenomenon can only be tackled through consistent cross-border law enforcement cooperation, and the use of Europol’s information systems and analysis capabilities,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The operation, which saw the Belgian Federal and Judicial Police as the main driver, took place at the end of May 2014, and was the result of an initiative launched during the 2nd conference on metal theft held at Europol at the end of April this year. The operation is part of an ongoing EMPACT2 programme focusing on Organised Property Crime, which is a current priority within the EU.

Intelligence confirms that stolen metal is often transported across several borders and sold as scrap, or for recycling, far away from the scene of the crime. Information gathered during this operation will be further analysed by Europol in order to pinpoint the main modus operandi and the people and gangs involved in this illegal trade.

Participating countries were: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

EUROPOL issues alert over theft of catalytic converters from parked cars

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Metal theft has emerged as a significant criminal phenomenon across EU Member States in recent years. Thieves are now also targeting catalytic converters from parked cars because they contain valuable metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Taller cars with more ground clearance, such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs) or vans, are specifically targeted as it is easier to remove their catalytic converters, which are installed to reduce the poisonous gases from a vehicle’s exhaust system.

The value of catalytic converters depends on the type of vehicle. The minimum price for the precious metal contained in one converter is EUR 50 on the second-hand market. The value and accessibility of catalytic converters (CATs) makes them attractive targets for theft. They are stolen from vehicles parked on the street as well as from recycling companies. Recently, a recycling company in Belgium lost 300 second-hand CATs, worth EUR 15 000, to theft. Costs for a vehicle owner to replace a stolen catalytic converter can be more than EUR 1500.

Many offenders involved in the theft of CATs belong to mobile organised crime groups, operating across borders and covering long distances. These criminals often target entire fleets in a single night. Many of these groups have previously been involved in other types of property crime such as burglaries and thefts of lorries, vehicle batteries, boat engines and diesel.

The thieves sell the catalytic converters to metal dealers who ask no questions and then extract the precious metals from the CAT’s ceramic core. Some criminals are able to remove the cores themselves and sell them directly to refining companies, making it impossible to trace the theft.

To reduce the risk of theft, when possible:

Park your car in a garage

Park where access is controlled and CCTV is active

Park in an area that allows visibility to passersby

Park in well-lit areas

If you operate a fleet of cars, park smaller and lower cars around the high risk cars to obstruct access

Mark the metal shell of the catalytic converter with a unique mark to make it easier to trace it back to your car.

Albufeira – Quick response by GNR results in the arrest of a burglar

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

On the afternoon of 18th June 2014 a man aged 38 years was arrested by GNR Albufeira whilst stealing items from a residential property. 

Following a report made that the person was in the property the GNR immediately responded and arrived shortly at the location. The culprit realizing the arrival of the GNR tried to escape with stolen goods, jumping from the second floor window sustaining a fractured ankle. He was arrested on the spot and transported by INEM for a hospital for medical evaluation. The goods were recovered.

Four arrested for swindling the Portuguese Health Service

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Judicial Police, through the National Anti-Corruption Unit (UNCC) and in collaboration with the Public Ministry (DCIAP) related to the fraud investigation to the National Health Service (NHS), arrested two doctors, a  pharmacy proprietary and another person in the areas of Lisbon and Tras-os-Montes, by falsifying medical prescriptions, swindling the State, corruption and criminal association. 

During the operation nine house searches were conducted and material relating to the illegal activities surfaced during the investigation, were seized. The detainees will be brought to justice, to determine the measures to be taken with a view to the collecting of further evidence to determine the level of injury caused to the Portuguese State through improper reimbursements.

PSP arrest three for Drug Trafficking in Faro

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

On 18th June 2014 the PSP Faro through the Police Criminal Investigation unit Faro, conducted an anti-drug operation during which they arrested three Portuguese citizens aged 31, 33 and 39 respectively.

The detainees were stopped in the street and following house searches a total of  720 doses of heroin, 400 doses of hashish, decimal scales and a car were seized.