Archive for May, 2017

ASAE union threatens court action against Ministry of Economy

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

The Association of Employees of ASAE (ASFASAE), meeting on 27th May 2017 Lisbon, approved “to try to commence immediate legal action against the Ministry of Economy to request compensation for inspectors.

The violation of the constitutional principle “equal work, equal pay” is the basis of the action, explains the union in a statement released on 28th May, adding that the Ministry of Economy should compensate the deputy inspectors and technical inspectors of ASAE, “at a value corresponds to the difference between the actual salary earned and the salary they should earn”, equal to that of the inspectors of the higher-inspection career who “perform the same functions”.

The union in that statement threatens to protest if the proposed statute, which the Government will refer to the trade union association until 9 June, does not achieve that requested by ASAE inspectors namely a single career, pay scale and necessary Supplementary remuneration, the regulation of access to the positions of the ASAE Directorate and the special retirement scheme.

If this claim is not fulfilled, the association promises to carry out vigils, and “conduct protest and awareness actions at airports, cruise terminals, marinas, train stations, tourist attractions”, among others.

“The Assembly of Delegates also mandated the current ASFASAE  national leadership to carry out a three day national strike after June 27, should the Government’s position at the negotiating table remain unchanged,” the statement concluded

Security “was not and is not a priority” in Portugal, says President of OSCOT

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

A report in the Diario de Noticais quotes António Nunes, president of the Observatory for Security, Organized Crime and Terrorism (OSCOT), as stating that he believes “security was not and is not a priority” in Portugal. At the conference organized by the union that represents the inspectors of the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF), the general opinion was that there is a lack of investment in national security and that Portugal is not free from the danger of the terrorist threat.

For him, the “effective assessment of the terrorist threat” in Portugal is low, and this is later related to investments in the security forces.

“At a time when, in fact, there is a real incident in Portugal, are we all going to be here on this stage, perhaps crying out the pain of ‘why did not we do more’?”

Despite being viewed by the majority as a safe country, the lack of investment in security by governments, the current and previous ones, has been criticized.

This week it was reported that the SEF does not have enough agents to deal with the steady increase in inflows in the country. Since 2011, the number of passengers inspected by the SEF at Lisbon airport has increased by 46%, but the number of inspectors has only increased by 6%.

António Gameiro of the PS, admitted the need for “special attention in this area” and said that previous governments were “not very intense” in strengthening security measures.

Now, “the issue of security is on the table as a national and European priority” and no one questions the importance of border services”.

“The government should go further,” said António Rebelo de Sousa, who argues that the personal security of citizens should be at the level of education, health and social security, supported by the model of welfare state.

According to the professor, there is in Portugal the “syndrome as long as we do not have major problems, we do the minimum necessary for people to feel minimally safe.”

Telmo Correio also affirmed that there were already situations of terrorism risk in Portugal – as in 2004, when terrorist individuals were flagged by foreign police, and recently with the detection of radicalized Portuguese and radicalization centers in national territory. “If the risk increases, the country must be aware of the risk,” said Telmo Correia.

Portugal is inserted in the context of NATO and the European Union “cannot ignore” this threat, said Carlos Abreu.

The Minister of Internal Administration, Constança Urbano de Sousa, announced at the same conference a new organic law and professional status for the SEF, stating that “its organic structure is very heavy for its size” and “personnel management is often quite inflexible.”

Cybercrime and violence in sport are priorities for criminal investigation by 2019

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Cybercrime, domestic violence, theft of ATMs, school crime, violence in sports and opportunist theft against tourists are some of the Government’s priorities in criminal matters for 2017-2019.

The paper that defines criminal policy objectives, priorities and guidelines for the biennium 2017-2019, which includes crime prevention and criminal investigation, has already been submitted to the Assembly of the Republic, after having been approved by the Ministerial Council on 4 of May

Priority prevention includes, among others, group crime and terrorism, arms trafficking, forest fire, money laundering, corruption, tax and social security and drug trafficking, as well as crimes of a sexual nature and those against children and the elderly.

In the draft law, robbery and robbery in homes, trafficking in persons, criminality in prisons and by organized mobile groups are considered as priority investigative crimes.

The definition of these priorities takes into account the data from the Annual Internal Security Report (ISAR) for 2016 and international crime trends.

The Government intends with this law to reduce “violence in a family and institutional environment, strengthen the protection of victims of crime, recover assets from criminal activities and achieve a more effective prevention of criminal recidivism.”

The diploma states that “the use of the Internet as a vehicle for communication and propaganda associated with terrorism and hate crimes and attacks against the information systems of States” are factors that point to “the need to maintain efforts in the prevention and repression of cybercrime and serious forms of trafficking associated with it, in particular arms and drugs.”

In the area of ​​cybercrime, the draft law also indicates “a trend towards increased cases of extortion and theft of cloud storage service credentials, the displacement of forms of traditional crime into the digital environment, the incidence of crimes against freedom and sexual self-determination through the internet. ”

According to the RASI of 2016, computer crimes increased by 21.5% compared to 2015, with computer sabotage increasing 147.4%, addiction, destruction, damage to computer software an increase of 81.8% and computer and communications fraud an increase of 7.9%.

The Government justifies these priorities with “the repetition and unpredictability of actions taken by mobile organized groups, many of them with transnational activity, the feeling of insecurity associated with assaults on residences, the significant incidence of violent crimes in school environment, the associated risks of violence the spread of illegal weapons and the increase in thefts of opportunity associated with the increase in tourism. ”

According to the RASI, school bullying increased by 6.2% in 2016 and opportunity theft increased by 12.1%.

Regarding the prevention of sports violence, the executive proposes to carry out “actions to prevent and control manifestations of violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sporting spectacles”.

Funchal – Seizure of more than 300 liters of Japanese Sake

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

The Territorial Command of Madeira, through the Territorial Office of Funchal, from April 1 to May 17, seized about 300 liters of Japanese sake, in Funchal.

Following an operation in catering establishments, in the context of excise duties and in connection with the marketing and sale of alcoholic beverages, that alcohol was seized for breach of the sealing rules and failure to submit the introductory declarations, for the consumption and marketing of spirits, already introduced for consumption in another part of the national territory with differentiated taxation.

Four persons, who owned the establishments, were also constituted as defendants, and four cases of misconduct were issued.

10 tonnes of hashish seized in the Strait of Gibraltar with six arrested in Judicial Police coordinated operation

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

The hashish seized “in the last days” by the Portuguese Judicial Police aboard a vessel “off the Strait of Gibraltar” which came from Morocco was destined for an “African country of the Mediterranean basin”.

The operation coordinated by the Judicial Police in Portugal involved the Navy, through the Marines, who approached of the vessel on the high seas. The Air Force, provided night time surveillance, tracking the vessel over 12 hours, from the north of Morocco in international waters’, revealed Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Costa.

Artur Vaz, coordinator of the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs (UNCTE), told a press conference at the Naval Point in Portimão, where the seized boat was taken and where the drug was unloaded under heavy police surveillance, that the investigation started a year ago.

The operation ‘Levante’ culminated in the seizure of a fishing vessel turned into a Dutch-flagged recreational boat which was carrying the drugs. Six men were also detained, two of them Portuguese, and the other of nationalities that the person responsible did not want to reveal, for being able to “call into question the investigations still in progress”.

In the boat, 333 bales of drugs were seized, which were packed in a compartment. Hashish was being transported from Morocco to another North African country, situated in the Mediterranean, from where it would then be ‘distributed by other countries, including several European countries’.

The approach was made in international waters, by elements of the Portuguese Marines. The men aboard the hash-loaded boat offered no resistance, according to Comandante Carvalho Pinto, Director of the Center for Maritime Operations (Comar).

Asked if the traffickers would have weapons, Carvalho Pinto said that “if they were armed, they did not have time to react”.

The six detainees, aged between 20 and 61, are suspected of being part of a “transnational criminal organization with strong support in Portugal”.

This drug seizure, with an estimated weight of 10 tons, represents more than all the narcotics caught last year in Portugal. However, Artur Vaz, UNCTE coordinator, stressed that “the operation is valid not only for the quantities seized, but for the dismantling of the criminal entity that is behind this trafficking”.

The operation is the result of an investigation by UNCTE, with the collaboration of Europol, the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center – Narcotics (MAOC-N), Spanish, French, Dutch and Greek authorities.

Two Luxembourg nationals accused of cheating hundreds of Portuguese citizens in air travel fraud go to trial

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

A court in Luxembourg commenced on 16th May the hearing of two Luxembourg nationals accused of cheating hundreds of Portuguese immigrants, promising them cheap flights to Portugal that did not materialise.

The case dates back to 2013 when Transline Tours, with its headquartered in Howald, on the outskirts of the Luxembourg capital, launched a campaign announcing tickets “at a fair price” to Porto and Lisbon, with posters in Portuguese and a website created For this purpose.

Charter flights cost € 295 (round trip) and are scheduled for July to September 2013, with tickets to be purchased by February of that year.

Hundreds of Portuguese citizens bought tickets from the Luxembourg travel agency, but in June 2013 the company announced that the flights would be cancelled, alleging bankruptcy of the contracted airline.

However, according to the prosecutor’s spokeswoman, the travel agent’s partners – both accused in the process – would have sold the plane tickets without hiring a carrier to secure the flights.

The two men then have proposed repaying the value of tickets sold, while refusing to compensate defrauded customers.

The former officials of the Luxembourg travel agency are accused of fraud, misleading advertising and breach of trust.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, it is now up to the judges to decide whether the accused acted “deliberately” to “deceive people” or whether they were “totally incompetent.”

The bankruptcy of the company was enacted on May 20, 2015, but it is only now that the criminal process has commenced.

The case involves at least 112 injured parties (in some cases, with several tickets bought), but not all civil parties were constituted in the process to be compensated, Lusa was  told by the Office of the Prosecutor.

Pastor detained suspected of causing a forest fire in the Alvão mountain range

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

The Judiciary Police announced on 18th May the arrest of a pastor who is “heavily indicted” for a forest fire crime that occurred in January, in the Serra do Alvão, in Vila Real.

The 53-year-old man was detained by the Local Criminal Investigation Unit of Vila Real PJ, with the collaboration of the Nature Protection and Environment Service (SEPNA) of the GNR.

According to the Judiciary in a statement, the fire occurred on January 17, around 1700 hours, and consumed an area of ​​250 hectares of forest, consisting of bush and wild pine of natural regeneration.

The PJ also said that the fire put in danger the houses of the village of Cravelas, located in the Alvão mountain range.

This fire mobilized close to a hundred operatives, who had the support of 26 vehicles. The strong wind and dry bush made it difficult to fight the flames and it was only early in the morning that the low temperatures helped to put out the fire.

The detainee will be present to the judicial interrogation to apply any coercive measures

Seventh member of armed robbery gang in Alentejo arrested

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

The Judiciary Police announced on 19th May that it had arrested in Beja a seventh member of the group suspected of several crimes of robbery using violence and weapons in the Alentejo region in 2016.

In a statement sent to the Lusa news agency, the PJ South Board explains that the 38-year-old man has been “working together” with six other men aged between aged 21 and 57 who were arrested on 22nd March, also in Beja, on suspicion of 12 crimes of robbery using violence and firearms and seven other robberies.

The man was identified and detained on Wednesday “for the alleged practice of various crimes of robbery and multiple thefts,” pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Ferreira do Alentejo, in the district of Beja. The operation was conducted jointly with the GNR and PSP.

The suspect was subjected to a first judicial interrogation at the Court of Ferreira do Alentejo on Wednesday, Lusa news agency reported.

According to the Judiciary, during the year 2016, in the Baixo Alentejo, the seven suspects, “resorting to physical violence and the use of firearms”, attacked individuals in isolated areas or entered their homes, forcing them to surrender their money, gold, cell phones and various objects.

“Also taking advantage of the lack of surveillance,” the suspects broke down doors and windows to enter homes and warehouses and seize valuables.

The first six men detained were subjected to judicial interrogation at the Court of Ferreira do Alentejo on March 23, which ordered the detention measures

Two “Hugs and Kisses thieves” detained by PSP

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

They are 19 and 21 years old; the two young persons nicknamed  the “hugs and kisses thieves”, have now been detained by the PSP on suspicion of joining a group that walks around the city of Lisbon offering hugs and kisses to girls, some under physical coercion, to steal mobile phones, money and other personal items.

The Lisbon Metropolitan’s area is one of the areas used by the gang who also operate on the streets of Loures.

In all, PSP’s Public Transportation Security Division has so far recorded 15 robberies for the “hug and kiss” process.

According to the PSP, the two young people now detained have been remanded in custody.

Two others are also identified and the PSP continues to investigate all the activity carried out by the group.

Fatima – GNR Operational results

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

The National Republican Guard conducted three operations during the visit of His Holiness, Pope Francis, on the occasion of the centenary of the Fatima apparitions, from May 1 to 14, namely to:

  • Ensure the safety of (Operation “Pilgrimage Segura”),
  • For the control of the borders (Operation “Border Guarded”, integrated in Operation “White Frontier” of the Service of Shepherds and Borders) and,
  • For the prevention of incidents in the city of Fatima (Operation “Centenário”).

During the three operations, in order to fulfil the objectives, 17,336 military personnel were involved, namely:

  • 8 392 in the Sanctuary of Fatima, surrounding area and access;
  • 4 505 in border surveillance and control;
  • 4,449 in support of pilgrims on their journey to Fatima.

Also involved in the three operations: were: 4 505 vehicles; 260 horses and 238 dogs.

Operation ” Centenary “

In Fatima, in terms of public order and  ensuring the safety of all participants in the pilgrimage and the celebrations, there was a low crime rate; only 29 crimes were reported (18 thefts by pickpocketing, one vehicle theft, four other types of robbery and six other crimes There were only five damage only traffic accidents, during the 10 days of the operation. And traffic flow was smooth, both in the city and in the accesses.

Operation “Border Guarded”

The GNR conduct of various patrols, provided surveillance along the land, sea and inland waterways, as well as at aerodromes and runways, with the aim of preventing entry into national territory of citizens, vehicles and means that could carry out or be used in hostile actions.

4 505 soldiers from various branches of the GNR carried out 1 457 border patrols, of which: 976 at border crossing points; 259 at sea borders; 166 at aerodromes and runways; 36 on river frontiers and 20 in rail transport.

The following were checked: 146 893 people; 87,833 vehicles;· 81 vessels and  20 trains.

Of these patrols, 63 people were detained in all these frontiers, especially: 34 for possession of a prohibited weapon; Three for money laundering; Two for drug trafficking; Two for illegal stay in national territory and one for fraud.

As a result of these patrols on various frontiers, the following were seized: 708 thousand euros in cash; 36.35 kg of hashish (equivalent to more than 72 thousand doses); Eight vehicles; 46 weapons and 40 rounds of ammunition.

Operation “Safe Pilgrimage”

This operation was carried out from May 1 to 12, with the reinforcement of the patrolling in the main access roads to the city of Fátima and its sanctuary, with the purpose of guaranteeing the safety of the pilgrims.

50,000 reflective vests and 300,000 leaflets from councils were distributed, Some 117,500 pilgrims benefited from the support and / or monitoring of the GNR military personnel during their trip to Fatima, and there were no significant accidents or incidents during the Pilgrimage.

The mobile application for iOS and android “APPeregrinos” was also created, with the objective of providing useful information in real time for those who went to Fátima.