Archive for October, 2014

“Beret Gang” (gang das boinas) arrested by GNR Faro

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

GNR Faro have arrested five men aged between 60 – 70 years responsible for a number of thefts and robberies throughout the country.

Nicknamed the “Beret Gang” because they usually wore berets (boinas), they would enter banks posing as ordinary customers and follow customers who had withdrawn large sums of money. As soon as the money was left unattended for instance in a car, the gang took the opportunity to break in a steal, pulling the caps over part of their faces to avoid being recognized. The gang used top range vehicles to follow victims, including Mercedes and some hire cars.

The gang are believed to be mainly resident in Setabul and were arrested by Faro GNR, who conducted the investigation, in Gondamar. One gang member was arrested in Baixa do Banheira.

The GNR investigation has led officers to believe that the gang could have operated for up to 10 years with proceeds amounting to over €1 million.

It was subsequently reported in the Correio da Manha on 26th October that since the arrest many more victims are being identified.

Spanish Police arrest over 50 persons in government involved corruption case

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Reuters reported on 27th October that Spanish police have arrested 51 people as part of a graft investigation involving local government construction contracts, the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

The investigation, “Operation Punica” — centred around town halls mainly in the regions of Madrid, Murcia, Leon and Valencia — is one of numerous corruption scandals that have hit Spain’s mainstream political parties and many bankers in recent months.

“The collusion between local councillors and civil servants, with builders and energy service companies, and the corruption of middle-men and key companies, has helped them to secure contracts worth around 250 million euros ($300 million) in the last two years alone,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

A judicial source said one of those arrested was Francisco Granados, a former conservative deputy president of the Madrid region who resigned in February after it was revealed he had millions of euros in a Swiss bank account.

Information from Switzerland has helped Operation Punica, and investigators have issued search warrants on 259 properties, 400 banks, companies and insurers, blocked current accounts and assets and embargoed 30 vehicles. (Reporting by Raquel Castillo; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Sarah Morris and Louise Ireland)

Comment

Excellent, robust, anti-corruption work by the Spanish police.

Search of Sir Cliff Richard’s home – Report of the Home affairs Select Committee

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

The Home affairs Select Committee published on 24th October 2014 the Report into the televised raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home under the title ” Police, the media, and High Profile Investigations”.

The following are the Conclusions and Recommendations of the report with a link to where the full report can be read.

“Conclusions and Recommendations

1.  If South Yorkshire Police believed that the premature broadcasting of a story about the investigation could have prejudiced their enquiries, then they should have contacted more senior people at the BBC to explain the situation, rather than trying to cut a deal with an individual reporter. Given that the BBC had information about the investigation and the timing and location of the execution of the search warrant, which was freely provided to them by South Yorkshire Police, we see nothing wrong in their decision to run the story. It is unfortunate, however, that they allowed another of their correspondents to give a misleading impression of the circumstances under which the Corporation came by this information, downplaying the BBC’s role and suggesting that South Yorkshire Police were actively seeking publicity for the investigation. (Paragraph 7)

2.  Whereas South Yorkshire Police have been very forthcoming in supplying us with all the material we have sought from them, the BBC have chosen to hide their reporter behind his superiors, issuing equivocal denials on his behalf. It seems likely to us, on balance, that Mr Johnson did indeed indicate to South Yorkshire Police that he had detailed knowledge of the investigation, beyond the name of the suspect, and that, whether by act or omission, he gave them the clear impression that his source was Operation Yewtree. (Paragraph 11)

3.  It is clear that South Yorkshire Police’s exchanges with the BBC went far beyond confirming the date of the search of Sir Cliff’s home. The Force played an active part in providing the BBC with detailed information which would allow it to secure exclusive coverage of the search. (Paragraph 12)

4.  This episode clearly points to a leak from within Operation Yewtree and it is therefore surprising that Chief Constable Crompton did not seek to contact the Metropolitan Police soon after the approach from Mr Johnson to alert them to the possible leak and invite them to investigate. (Paragraph 13)

5.  It would have been open to South Yorkshire Police to decide to publicise the name of the subject of this investigation had they chosen to do so for operational reasons. However, the naming of suspects (or the confirming of a name when it is put to a force) when there is no operational need to do so is wrong. (Paragraph 17)

6.  The conversations between Dan Johnson and South Yorkshire Police led eventually to high-profile television coverage of allegations against a well-known public figure. The potential damage to the individuals under investigation means that the police should not give the media advance notice of arrests, the execution of search warrants, and other aspects of investigations of high-profile individuals, except, as we have already noted, where it is justified on operational grounds. South Yorkshire Police have told us that they did not want to publicise their investigation, but offered the BBC information about the search warrant as part of a compromise in which the BBC did not broadcast prematurely the information its reporter had. Senior BBC executives told us that the Chief Constable had only to pick up the phone and they would not have broadcast the story, a sensible editorial policy which should reduce the scope for conflict between legitimate journalistic activity and law enforcement, and which we are happy to endorse and publicise here. We hope that this episode will provide a useful case-study for police forces when considering their dealings with the media. (Paragraph 18)

7.  We are disappointed by South Yorkshire Police’s inept handling of this situation. Whereas it is clear that the Force felt from the outset that it had to cooperate with the BBC in order to avoid jeopardising the investigation, its cooperation went far beyond notifying the BBC of the date, the Force failed to go to senior managers at the BBC to explain the risks inherent in premature broadcasting of the story, and it failed to alert the Metropolitan Police to the possibility of a leak from within Operation Yewtree. (Paragraph 19)

8.  It is clear that Sir Cliff Richard has personally suffered enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation, though he has been neither arrested nor charged with any offence. We have seen recently in the press that Sir Cliff has considered selling his home, which he only bought in 2008, because of the way the operation was carried out, and we can understand his feelings. No citizen should have to watch on live television their home being raided in this way. (Paragraph 20)”

Full Report

South Yorkshire Police described as “inept” in leaking Sir Cliff Richard search details

Friday, October 24th, 2014

”The police force behind a raid on the luxury home of Sir Cliff Richard was “utterly inept in tipping off the BBC about the operation which resulted in “irreparable damage” to the singer’s reputation, the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said yesterday.

In a highly critical report by the Home Affairs Select Committee, South Yorkshire Police is rebuked for informing a reporter about the timing of the raid, which allowed the corporation to send up a helicopter to film officers going into the singer’s home.

A BBC reporter was told the day when officers were going to search his home and was sent an aerial photograph by the force of the flat on a private estate in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to make sure they got the right place.

The 74-year-old singer has not been arrested but was interviewed over an alleged sex crime against a boy at a Billy Graham evangelical event at a Sheffield football stadium in 1985. Officers were filmed going on to the estate and through the windows of the penthouse as they carried out their work.

Sir Cliff is continuing to work and has a number of shows lined up for next year including five dates at the Royal Albert Hall. The singer is reportedly planning to sell the flat following the publicity surrounding the raid while he was in Portugal.

The reporter received the information after approaching the force a month earlier with a vague inquiry about the singer, according to BBC officials. The force had claimed that it had no choice but to deal with the reporter as they said he had detailed information about the case.

According to Sky News Dozens of emails, texts and phone calls were exchanged over the following month in the run-up to the raid in August and it was clear from these details were being passed that should not have been to a reporter.

The Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Sir Keith Vaz stated that “The email exchanges could easily be mistaken for a script from The Bill. The force should have refused to co-operate and explained to senior BBC News executives why the premature broadcasting of a story, which they claimed the journalist threatened, would have prejudiced the investigation.”

Mr Vaz added: “No British citizen should have to watch their home being raided by the police live on television. Sir Cliff Richard has suffered enormous and irreparable damage to his reputation and he is owed an apology over the way matters were handled.

“Police forces should consider carefully how they deal with approaches from journalists on such matters in the future. Someone in possession of sensitive information decided to leak details of the investigation to the media. We deplore this”.

The reporter, Dan Johnson, sent one message that said: “Give me a shout before they take anything out so we can get the chopper in place for a shot.”

The BBC is not criticised for covering the raid but said that the force should have contacted corporation managers if they wanted to get the message across that coverage of the raid would hamper their investigation. During hearings before the Home Affairs Select Committee, the Director‑General, Lord Hall, said they would not have run the story if the chief constable had asked them not to.

The chief constable of South Yorkshire, David Crompton, has previously apologised to Sir Cliff if the force was insensitive about the search. The report’s findings are a further blow to the force which was condemned for its failure to investigate child sex abuse in Rotherham.

 

 

7th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Velsen – GNR representation

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

On 17th October a ceremony was held to mark the 7th anniversary of the creation of the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) of which Portugal, represented by National Guard (GNR) is a founder member. 

Vicenza in Italy is the Permanent Headquarters of EUROGENDFOR, where five members of the National Guard carry out their daily work. Together with another 28 representatives from various European Gendarmerie Forces, they celebrated the anniversary by performing a simple military ceremony.

During the ceremony, the current Commander of the Permanent Headquarters EUROGENDFOR, Colonel Esteban Perez Spanish Civil Guard, highlighted both the quality and proficiency of the work done by the staff of the PHQ. This included their planning of the military missions of EGF on the ground, carrying out their tasks in particularly difficult environments, including: “EUFOR RCA”, the European Union military operation in the Central African Republic, launched on 1st April 2014.

During this operation EUROGENDFOR formed a basic component of the mission fulfilling a key role in stabilizing a particularly volatile area of the capital Bangui – by providing an Integrated Police Unit. In another operation  “EUCAP MALI”, the organization provided civil  assistance and training of local police in Mali, as part of the “European Union Civilian CSDP Mission in Mali”.

At the end of the ceremony  a special tribute was given to the deceased EUROGENDFOR military in peacekeeping missions and remembered the motto of EUROGENDFOR “LEX PACIFERAT” – “The Act will bring peace”. This highlights the close link between law enforcement and the development of public order and public safety, this being the cornerstone of action of the European Gendarmerie Force.

Being able to operate under the aegis of the European Union, NATO, the UN or another international ad hoc mandates, EUROGENDFOR is an initiative of five EU countries European (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands). All the security forces are of a military nature, combining as a single Security Force, with high levels of operational flexibility, able to deploy up to 800 personnel within 30 days.

This provides Europe with a greater ability to conduct crisis management operations. As pointed out by Commander there are currently in an international context, several disturbing situations, where EUROGENDFOR reasserts itself as a tool of high value that can contribute decisively to restore peace and security in conflict-affected areas.

PSP celebrates it’s 86th Anniversary with PSP Symphonic Band performance in Faro

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

On October 31st the Faro PSP is celebrating its 86th birthday.

For that occasion the PSP Symphonic Band is going to perform at the Teatro das Figuras in Faro at 21H30.

It will be a classical music concert and it’s open to the public for a small fee of 5€ per person.

O repertório do Concerto a apresentar pela Banda Sinfónica da PSP no dia 31 de Outubro de 2014, integrado nas comemorações do aniversário do CD de Faro, pelas 21H30, é o seguinte:

 

James Swearingen (1953)

INTO THE JOY OF SPRING  
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

Transc. Major Lemos Botelho

CONCERTO PARA TROMPA E ORQUESTRA nº. 1,

EM Mib Maior, OP. 11

 

SOLISTA EM TROMPA: AGENTE ÂNGELO CALEIRA CONTENTE

 
G. Puccini (1858-1924)

Arr. Mark Armstrong

E LUCEVAN LE STELLE, DA ÓPERA TOSCA

 

TENOR AGENTE PRINCIPAL PEDRO TAVARES

 
Tradicional Napolitano

Arr. Fedor Vrtacnik

O SURDATO NNAMMURATO

 

TENOR AGENTE PRINCIPAL PEDRO TAVARES

 
Johann de Meij (1953) KLEZMER CLASSICS  
Joaquim Luiz Gomes (1914-2009)

Adaptação para a Banda Sinfónica da PSP

do Comissário Ferreira Brito

1ª. FANTASIA POPULAR PORTUGUESA  

 

 

 

DIRECÇÃO DO MAESTRO COMISSÁRIO FERREIRA BRITO

69th Aniverssary of the Judicial Police

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The following is an extract of a speech given by the National Director of the Judicial Police to mark its 69th Anniversary that took place on 20th October 2014

“We celebrate the 69th anniversary of the Judicial Police, this magnificent complex of buildings, which now houses the majority of services based in Lisbon. But if modernity and functionality of this new headquarters building lead reflect the present and the future, the symbology the ephemeris leads us to revisit an honourable legacy of nearly seven decades of serving the citizens and justice, which became the Judicial Police and one of the most prestigious institutions of our country.

The Judicial Police was created on 20 October 1945, through publication of Decree No. 35042, with the dedication to the prevention and investigation of crime, adjusting the investigative mechanisms, grounded in science and law, the new Code of Criminal Procedure which was approved seven days before, by Decree 35007, 13 October.

These two structural diplomas indelibly marked the nature, mission and tasks of the new criminal investigation police, which was integrated in the justice system and, hence, designated “Judicial Police”. Designed and shaped over decades to serve justice, managed by judicial magistrates and prosecutors and officials with legal training, equipped with technically well prepared and frames with high spirit of mission, the Judicial Police always responded promptly and efficiently to all types of criminality and social changes which have become increasingly complex and sophisticated.

Consider, in this regard, that we are now installed in a building designed and built to serve the modern criminal investigation. We are proud of this and our prestige internationally. This was only possible thanks to the fellowship of principles and concerted efforts towards a common goal, pursued by three constitutional governments, supported by different political parties. And is this what we should be emphasizing and should be pursued in the development and adoption of legal instruments, which we consider essential to the realization of an absolutely free criminal background and only the service of the democratic rule of law and the realization of justice.

Finally, allow me to provide public accounts, listing some of the operating results, achieved thanks to the actions of the meritorious and committed researchers in the Judicial Police. Hence, in the space of one year, 1696 people were arrested for serious crimes, with around 40% being placed under remand.

Of those arrested, 197 are suspected murderers, 235 armed robbers, 75 kidnappers 75, 113 arsonists, 196 rapists and child abusers, 258 drug dealers, 13 human traffickers. During the same period we seized 909 firearms, 3241 pounds of cocaine, more than 2466 kilograms of hashish and 204 kilograms of gold, whose values, in the illicit market, surpass, by far, the budget of the Judicial Police. 104 properties were seized and other property derived from the commission of crimes, including 409 financial instruments, whose total value is around EUR 38 million. Over € 11 million in cash were seized.

Moreover, it was ordered the suspension of 47 banking operations, whose aggregate amounts exceed EUR 40 million. We seized 365 cars automobiles, many of which are of high value as well as eight vessels used in international drug trafficking. By way of example, the newly created Office of Asset Recovery, under the Judicial Police, was responsible for the seizure of assets that loss to the State, valued at over 26 million.

During the same period, 28 209 surveys were completed, 32,463 laboratory tests were conducted, 343 financial-accounting skills and 7021 computer checks undertaken.

Minister of Justice, at a time of public spending restraint and when they require great sacrifices the Portuguese, we faced difficulties in implementing the budget, of course, difficult to solve some problems and the materialization of some investment projects.

However, I must acknowledge publicly that despite these demands to curb public expenditure we have benefited from the peerless support Your Excellency, that the Judicial Police were granted an operating budget that would allow us to fulfil our mission.

Also, we have an excellent institutional relationship with the PGR, with the judiciary, with our internal and external partners, with the services of the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Finance, Health, Social Security, the Bank of Portugal, as well as unsurpassed support, expertise and availability of the Navy and Air Force.

For our part, thanks to the courage, the knowledge, the dedication, the commitment, the willingness and spirit of dedication and sacrifice of our researchers, we have lived up to our traditions, we honoured our good name and showed, once again, that the Judicial Police has ensured a return on investment”.

Judicial Police arrest two men, seize 600 kg of cocaine on sail boat off Sagres

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Judicial Police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, under an operation that took place in mid-October, arrested two Ukranian nationals and seized a sail boat, transporting about 600 kgs of cocaine. It is estimated that the drugs are worth about €19 million

Operation, which took place in international waters off Sagres, with the collaboration of the Portuguese Navy and Air Force.

It is understood that information about the shipment was passed to the Portuguese authorities by the USA. The vessel named “Cocuyo” was reportedly flying the Union Jack flag and was boarded by officers from the PJ and Navy.

The vessel was escorted to Portimao where it was seized together with the drugs. The detainees, aged 39 and 45 years, have appeared in court with an application to be remanded in custody

This operation is part of an ongoing strategy for identifying, combating and dismantling of organized criminal networks that have been using this kind of modus operandi for smuggling cocaine to Europe. Coordination rests with the “Centre for Maritime Analysis and Operations – Narcotics (MAOC-N) with the cooperation of the Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Lisbon.

Latest England Wales Crime survey figures published October 2014 – Overall crime down 16% – sexual offences up 21%

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) published on 16th October 2014 show that, for the offences it covers, there were an estimated 7.1 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending June 2014. This represents a 16% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.

The CSEW covers a broad range of victim based crimes and includes crimes which do not come to the attention of the police. Decreases were evident for all major crime types compared with the previous year; violence saw a 23% fall, criminal damage fell by 20%, and theft offences decreased by 12%.

In contrast, police recorded crime shows no overall change from the previous year, with 3.7 million offences recorded in the year ending June 2014. Prior to this, police recorded crime figures have shown year on year reductions since 2003/04.

The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording is likely to have prompted improved compliance with national standards in some police forces, leading to more crimes being recorded. This is thought to have particularly affected the police recorded figures for violence against the person (up 11%) and public order offences (up 6%).

The number of police recorded shoplifting offences showed a 5% increase compared with the previous year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this rise is more likely to be a result of a genuine increase in crime rather than any change in recording practice.

There was also an increase in the volume of fraud recorded (8% year on year), though it is difficult to judge to what extent that reflected an improvement in recording practices, an increase in public reports or a rise in actual criminality. It is thought that levels of fraud are thought to be substantially under-reported and thus these figures simply provide a measure of such offences brought to the attention of the authorities.

Sexual offences recorded by the police saw a 21% rise from the previous year and continues the pattern seen in recent publications. Current, rather than historic, offences account for the majority of the increase in sexual offences (73% within the last 12 months). Despite these recent increases, it is known that sexual offences are subject to a high degree of under-reporting.

The CSEW is a face-to-face victimisation survey in which people resident in households in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected number of offences in the 12 months prior to the interview. It covers both children aged 10-15 and adults aged 16 and over, but does not cover those living in group residences (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons), or crimes against commercial or public sector bodies.

For the population and offence types it covers, the CSEW is a valuable source for providing robust estimates on a consistent basis over time, as it has a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity.

 

 

The National Police arrested a man in Córdoba, Spain for corruption of minors and possession and distribution of child pornography – up to 10,000 victims could be involved

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

On 17th October 2014 agents of the Spanish National Police arrested a 32-year-old resident in Cordoba city, Spain on suspicion of corruption of minors, possession and distribution of child pornography, fraud threats and telecommunications offences. 

The arrested person contacted dozens of children contacted through social networks and through grooming techniques, and enticed them to submit photos of themselves in a sexual nature. In the search of his home investigators found about 500,000 images of children spread over different computers. He had hacked into the wifi networks from neighbours to chat with his victims and try to avoid detection by police.

Report of a mother

The origin of the research was the complaint filed in May 2014 by the mother of one of the victims who, by chance, discovered as their minor child held a conversation in a private chat in a social network with a young, apparently of the same age, which had sent photographs and videos of sexually explicit nature of himself and his younger brother. Faced with the possibility that he was the subject of a case of grooming, he opted immediately make it known to the police.

Police agents launched a complex investigation, which initially focused on the inspection of the profile on this social network of person with whom he had shared the images with sexual content. The researchers could see that in the said profile had added another 80 contacts, all of them male minors.

40 photos obtained under the province of Córdoba

In parallel and in order to locate other possible victims, officers were able to determine that 40 minors living in Cordoba province, had also sent him intimate images. The researchers contacted them and found that in all cases the way he interacted with the children was the same.

Potential victims accepted the friend request suspecting it was a girl chatting via social network, requesting photographs and videos with highly sexual content. When he used those images to blackmail and threaten the children.

Given the seriousness of the matter under investigation and the large number of underage victims, police acted with urgency to identify the culprit and prevent further casualties. They were finally able to determine the identity of the alleged perpetrator, a 32-year-old, who was a top technician with certification of telecommunications and computer systems and other networks on the Internet. Police also proceeded to perform a search of his home for more than six hours in which agents inspected three computers in which abundant paedophile pornographic material was found, resulting in his immediate arrest.

Hack Wi-Fi networks

The fact that the offender is a person with high computer skills and hacking techniques greatly complicated the investigation. The arrested person tried to protect his identity through the  unlawful use of wireless networks in your neighbourhood.

From a first analysis of the computers, the researchers could see that the detainee was the creator and user adopting three other profiles, two of which according to his own statements, had been used for the same acts. In just one profile the culprit managed to add 383 youths. It has also been found that in another recently created profile of a popular social network, included about 40 children and friends, many of whom had already submitted their images by email.

About 500,000 paedophiles files

In the initial inspection of computers around 500,000 image files and video were located, with the vast majority of paedophilia, which are being reviewed to locate potential victims, since some of them the had obtained a sharing program files. Agents continue scrutinizing the wealth of information seized in the house search, and as yet do not have an exact number of children who have been victims of these events, although based on all the profiles used by the person arrested and the time it took to play this type of criminal activity, the figure could exceed 2,000 children in Spain and 10,000 worldwide.

The research was carried out by agents of technological crime group of the Provincial Brigade of the Judicial Police of Córdoba.