Archive for July, 2017

GNR rescues 133 migrants in the Aegean

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

The Coastal Control Unit (UCC),using soldiers deployed on the islands of Samos and Kastellorizo, Greece, as part of the mission of the European Border and Coastguard Agency (FRONTEX), have rescued 133 migrants during a maritime patrol.

In the south of Pitagorio – Samos, 46 people (21 children, 11 women and 14 men) were rescued. In the eastern part of the island, 52 people (24 children, 11 women and 17 men) were rescued.

On the island of Ro, near the island of Kastellorizo, 35 people were rescued (17 children, 11 women and seven men), who were in rocks, where they swam after the ship in which they were passengers was shipwrecked.

The 133 migrants were rescued by Portuguese vessels and handed over to the Greek authorities.

The main objective of this FRONTEX operation is to prevent, detect and suppress illegal activities related to illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings and other cross-border crimes, but fundamentally contributing to the safeguarding of human lives at sea by search and rescue missions.

In less than a month, the Portuguese force deployed in Samos and Kastellorizo ​​has already rescued 297 migrants.

Vila Cova da Lixa – GNR seize more than 2 900 counterfeit articles

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

On 25th July the GNR Oporto Territorial Command seized,  2 962 counterfeit articles with an estimated value of 35 thousand euros, in Vila Cova da Lixa.

The articles of clothing, footwear and suitcases were seized during a street vending and fair trade inspection operation.

Fifteen individuals, aged between 20 and 55 years old, were considered defendants, two of whom were Moroccan nationals.

Lisbon – Woman detained at the airport with 23 capsules of cocaine inside her body

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

A 43-year-old woman was detained at Humberto Delgado airport in Lisbon on suspicion of committing a crime of drug trafficking.

In a statement, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) said that the woman, of foreign nationality, was intercepted upon arrival in the country when documentary checks were being carried out on passengers on a flight from Brazil.

SEF added that the woman was “Suspected of transporting narcotic drugs and confirmed that she had swallowed 23 capsules of liquid cocaine,” says the SEF

Former TAP employees on Angola’s money laundering scheme

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Three lawyers and four others who had ties to TAP airlines, one of them as a member of the Board of Directors, were charged on 14th July 2017 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office with active corruption with prejudice to international trade, money laundering and falsification of documents.

According to information released by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP), the scheme operated through an “apparent” provision of services to TAP by Sonair, a subsidiary company Sonangol. This allowed the Angolan oil company to place in Portugal, large sums of money.

“The investigation found that Sonair paid TAP more than € 25 million without the provision of services apparently contracted,” says the DCIAP.

According to the MP’s department, the money circulating from Sonair to TAP was then laundered by another company, Worldair.

“The latter, by receiving incomprehensibly high commissions (about 2/3 of the value of the business), allowed the money to be transferred to accounts outside Portugal. The amounts were still circulating offshore before returning to Portuguese accounts. In some cases, The money ended up being used for the acquisition of luxury real estate in Portugal “, says the DCIAP.

During the investigation, the MP seized nine properties, all registered on behalf of companies involved in the money laundering process.

The balances of 21 bank accounts were also seized, also on behalf of the front companies involved, and also requested that the amounts deposited there be declared lost in favour of the State. It was also requested the intervention of the Asset Recovery Office of the Judiciary Police.

The Public Ministry was assisted in this investigation by the Judiciary Police. Source Diario de Noticais

Great Ormond Street staff ‘get death threats’ over Charlie Gard

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Scotland Yard investigates allegations of thousands of abusive messages received by medical professionals

Scotland Yard has been called in to investigate allegations that staff at Great Ormond Street hospital have been bombarded with violent threats and abuse over the case of the baby Charlie Guard

 Thousands of abusive messages, including death threats, have been sent to doctors and nurses at the children’s hospital in London, the chair of the hospital revealed. She said that staff were also facing abuse in the street. Families visiting their sick children had also been “harassed and discomfited,” they said.

The staff are being targeted by protesters opposed to Great Ormond Street hospital’s (GOSH) role in the treatment of baby Charlie, where doctors are seeking permission to turn off the youngster’s life-support machine.

Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want the judge to rule that their 11-month-old son, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo an experimental therapy overseen by a specialist in New York. Specialists at GOSH say the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.

Mary MacLeod, chair of Great Ormond Street hospital, said: “In recent weeks the GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance. Staff have received abuse both in the street and online.

“Thousands of abusive messages have been sent to doctors and nurses whose life’s work is to care for sick children. Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats. Families have been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children and we have received complaints of unacceptable behaviour even within the hospital itself

“Great Ormond Street hospital is in close contact with the Metropolitan police and we will do everything possible to hold to account anybody who is involved in this kind of deplorable behaviour.” Mr Justice Francis is scheduled to analyse the most recent evidence at a hearing in the family division of the high court on Monday (Source The Guardian)

Man accused of raping three women in Valongo

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

The Public Prosecutor has accused a man of rape, sexual coercion, robbery and possession of a prohibited weapon, practiced in Valongo.

The suspect was sentenced to pre-trial detention, the most serious measure of coercion, the prosecutor said in a statement posted on its Web site.

According to the indictment, quoted in the note from the District Attorney General’s Office (PGD) in Porto, the man approached, on April 16, in Valongo, three women, each in different situations, and threatening them with a razor blade and Forced them to sexual acts, having one of them robbed the wallet.

Man accused of raping three women in Valongo

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

The Public Prosecutor has accused a man of rape, sexual coercion, robbery and possession of a prohibited weapon, which took place in Valongo.

The suspect was sentenced to pre-trial detention, the most serious measure of coercion, the prosecutor said in a statement posted on its Web site.

According to the indictment, quoted in the note from the District Attorney General’s Office (PGD) in Porto, the man approached, on April 16, in Valongo, three women, each in different situations, and threatening them with a razor blade and Forced them to sexual acts, having one of them robbed the wallet.

Madeira – GNR makes record breaking seizure of cannabis plants

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

GNR made its biggest drug seizure in Madeira on Thursday 20th July, at Ribeira Brava, with 1050 metres of cannabis plants and more than seven kilograms of the drug.

The (stems of the plant branches) were already dry and in the cutting stage, GNR said in a statement.

According to the GNR, “the seizure took place in the context of an investigation for drug trafficking. Two searches were carried out, a domiciliary and a non-domiciliary one, and a man was made a formal suspect and subject to expiration of identity and residence.”

The action was supported by the dog unit.

“This apprehension of cannabis constitutes the largest ever carried out by the GNR in the Autonomous Region of Madeira,” said the

Azores – US military acquitted rape and attempted murder

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

The US military at the Lajes base in the Azores, which was charged with attempted murder, rape, physical assault and kidnapping, was acquitted of all crimes on Friday.

“Since it has not been proven that he committed the crimes, he will be acquitted,” the judge said at the Angra do Heroísmo court in Terceira Island, in a reading of the ruling.

According to the judge, “the court failed to prove all the facts,” although the expert opinion confirmed some of the facts described by the accused.

The judicial magistrate also said that some “incongruities” were detected in the version of the alleged victim, who was an assistant in the process, but it was not possible to prove the accusations in any of the crimes.

The woman accused the US military, who was finishing a service commission at the Lajes base, of raping her and assaulting her, in an isolated place, after having he accepted her as a hitchhiker in his vehicle at dawn of 01 November 2016, in Praia da Vitória.

According to the communiqué issued by the Judiciary Police at the time, she said that the defendant later took her to another place near the coast, where she was raped, beaten with a  weapon and tried to kill by drowning.

The Coordination of the Public Ministry of the Region of the Azores informed that the alleged victim, an employee at the base of Lajes and who knew the defendant, was able to free herself from him and fled to the sea, swimming until she did not see him She returned to shore and after sometime was able to get help from a passer-by who took her to hospital.

At the trial, the accused stated that the sexual relations were consented and it was the alleged victim who tried to attack him, which led him to immobilize her and expel her from his vehicle.

The defendant was in custody until the last session of the trial, on the 12th, having been placed under house arrest and now released.

Portugal lost almost a third of the firefighters in ten years, but professionals increase.

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

The number of firefighters in the country has been declining every year, decreasing to 29,000 in 2015 (last year with data unavailable), when ten years earlier there were almost 42,000, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).

According to an article in the Diarios de Noticais (DN),  Volunteers enter, but also many leave and there is a great turnover, stated the associations that represent them. This is despite the increase of salaried employees in humanitarian corporations, with professionals estimated to make up a third of their total.

According to the Volunteer Firefighters of Vila do Conde, which has 42 employees in a total of 100 firefighters. “It is not possible to depend on volunteer help: there are fewer and fewer volunteers” he explains. Rui Silva has two jobs – clerk and teacher – which means that he is often not available for volunteering. When he had an accident as a firefighter he lived months of the minimum wage, which is generally guaranteed by insurance.  He advocates creating real incentives and not “alms” to get people to want to be firefighters (see box).

Also the National Association of Professional Firefighters (ANBP) understands that the accounts are poorly made. In fact, according to their estimates, there are 15,000 professional firefighters, almost double those indicated by the ANPC, 12,000 of whom work in the fire and municipal and professional organizations.

Fernando Curto, the chairman of the board of directors, argues that, first, “the number of professionals and volunteers should be clarified” before taking any action. He argues: “There is a false question when it comes to professional firefighters and volunteer firefighters. The Secretary of State for Home Affairs says it will not professionalize firefighters,” we do not want them to be professionalized, we want clarification. Most of the wage earners are in voluntary associations. All have professional firefighters, which are the first intervention teams. It is in these corporations that should increase the professionals and only thus they can have more human means “.

The leaders of the Portuguese Firemen’s League recognize this reality. Marta Soares, the president of the Portuguese Firemen’s League, says that humanitarian associations have salaried employees to guarantee their workforce. “Ten years ago, the number of firefighters stabilized at 30,000, they have less availability. Volunteer associations have about 8% professionals and they guarantee the functioning of the civil protection structure.” Marta Soares refers to the ANPC census. The data sent by the structure to DN indicate an increase in the number of professionals since 2012 and that will represent more than 27% of the workforce, without the Azores and Madeira. Only the INE data gives the evolution of the sector, in addition to crossing ANPC statistics with those of corporate commanders.