In its recently produced report for 2015 the WEF Travel and Tourism Competiveness Report rates Portugal as 10th out of 141 countries in terms impact of crime and violence on the cost to businesses. (One being the lowest cost and 141 place being the highest cost to businesses).

The report rates each country individually covers four sub-indexes, 14 pillars, and 90 individual indicators, distributed among the different pillars these range from the environment, trade, price competitiveness, employment, social conditions etc.

Closely aligned to this is the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism summary report for 2015, which concludes that in the last two years the world has been facing geopolitical tensions from the Middle East and Ukraine to South-East Asia, growing terrorism threats and fear of the spread of global pandemics. Should they persist, these global challenges could have significant further repercussions on the Travel and tourism industry, as they touch on the pre-condition for the sector to grow and develop-the ability of people to travel safely.

To date, the effect of such events on travel & tourism has been mixed. While some countries have witnessed significant decreases in the number of international visitors, other destinations have remained unaffected.

Interestingly, it is notable that the travel and tourism sector has actually continued to grow over these past years and according to the Portugal study report by the WTTC all economic factors within the industry are forecast to grow this year. The WTTC report is good news for Portugal.

Noteworthy in the WEF report is that of the 19 factors for each country, Portugal’s highest rating is for Safety and Security, compared for instance with “International Openness” where it is placed 72nd and Health and Hygiene at 35th place.

Apart from the crime impacting on business costs, the report rates the “reliability of the Police Service, placing Portugal in 29th place; the most reliable police service being Finland followed by New Zealand. The UK is rated 26th place, Spain 20th and France 30th.

As expected in terms of terrorism, Portugal rates highly at 7th place in terms of the impact on business costs, and in terms of the number of homicides is at 30th place.

The GNR arrested during the night of June 5, in the areas of Elvas, Ferreira do Alentejo and Grândola, six men for conspiracy crimes and robbery.

Six house search warrants were executed and vehicles,silver jewellery, 720 euros in cash, 32 kilos of tobacco and 147 smartphones, were seized. The arrested persons, aged 21 and 41, were part of an organization that undertook robberies targeted at commercial / industrial establishments, farms, houses and jewellers and were carried out mainly at night time. It is reported that they had taken part in around 10 robberies over the last four months.

Most of the detainees have criminal records, for the crimes of conspiracy, theft and armed robbery, one of whom was deported from the country in 2011. This investigation, which lasted four months and ended with the arrests was conducted by the GNR Criminal Section of the Operations Research Group of the Special Intervention Unit (IU), which was coordinated by the Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DIAP) in Lisbon.

Fifty GNR soldiers participated in the operation including the Territorial Commands of Setúbal and Portalegre. Of the six arrested, five were held in custody.


On the night of 27th/28th May 2015, the Judicial Police, through the Department of Criminal Investigation of Ponta Delgada, in conjunction with the National Unit for Combating Drug Trafficking, as part of an operation that took place during the last days, detained five foreign men and seized a sail boat and approximately 1,150 kgs of cocaine transported reportedly from the Caribbean. The sail boat was sailing under a US flag.

This is the largest seizure of cocaine that has occurred in the Azores. The operation, with the assistance of Maritime police took place on the island of Faial, and was part of a broader framework to identify, combat and dismantle organized criminal networks that have been using this this method to traffic cocaine into Europe.

It has been reported that the drugs have a street value of Euro 300 million, making it one of the largest seizures worldwide this year.

It is understood from media reports that the French and British police were involved in the investigation leading to the operation.

The detainees, aged between 29 and 54 years old, (four Serbs and one German) have appeared before a competent judicial authority for the first judicial interrogation and have been placed in remand.