Archive for October, 2018

Operation Albare – Eight persons arrested – Money laundering 40 million and other crimes  

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The Judicial Police, through the Northern Board of Directors, under an investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office – DIAP of Vila do Conde, have carried out an operation to enforce arrest warrants and search domiciliary and non-domicile for the alleged crimes of criminal association , money laundering, qualified tax fraud and the sale, selling or concealment of counterfeit goods or articles.

In the course of about 40 searches carried out in the municipalities of Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim, Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia and Sintra, six individuals were arrested for these crimes and two others for crimes of falsification of documents, illegal emigration and drug trafficking.

According to the investigation, developed by the Judicial Police in conjunction with the Tax Authority, the amount laundered by this criminal association, in the period between January 2016 and March 2018, was in the region of 40 million euros.

18 car vehicles were seized, the vast majority of which were high-end, around € 350,000.00 in bank notes, computer equipment and mobile phones, a significant quantity of counterfeit goods or items without proper tax support documents in the presumed value of three million euros, dozens of internationally presumed false identification documents, passports and driving licenses, as well as a variety of accounting and tax documents.

The police operation involved 300 members, including the participation of investigators from the Judicial Police of the Board of Directors of the Centre and the units of Braga, Aveiro and Vila Real and the collaboration of the Port Authority of the Tax Authority, the Territorial Detachment of Matosinhos da Guarda National Republican, the Northern Regional Unit of the Food and Economic Security Authority and the Northern Regional Directorate of the Aliens and Borders Service.

The detainees, aged between 34 and 57, all businessmen of foreign nationality, will be presented to the competent judicial authorities for questioning and application of remand measures considered appropriate.

 Change of direction in the way the country addresses the rural fires

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The Council of Ministers at a meeting held in Tapada de Mafra, is intended to review the decisions concerning rural fires taken by government on 21st October 2017, one year after its execution, said Prime Minister António Costa at the introduction to the presentation given of the situation of the rural fires of 2018.

The situation was presented by the heads of the Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests, the National Civil Protection Authority and the president of the Mission Structure for the Installation of Integrated Management System of Rural Fire, Tiago Oliveira.

The Prime Minister gave a word of recognition for the work carried out throughout this year by all those who contributed positively to the results achieved in the fight against rural fires.

The president of the Mission Structure for the Installation of Integrated Fire Management System, Tiago Oliveira, recalled that there were profound structural difficulties in the way Portugal addressed the rural fires, and in the course of 2018 there was an improvement, namely the knowledge of these fires, and, above all, a change of direction.

This new course began to take shape in a new model of fire management through the integrated management system involving all stakeholders.

The change has gone through four main axes that have involved changing attitudes and behaviours, training and qualification of the various actors, structural initiatives of prevention and combat, and increased resilience of the territory.

In 2018, the strategy focused primarily on protecting populations, reducing fire outbreaks, managing fuel in hazardous areas, strengthening and pre-positioning means in risk areas and improving decision-making and enhancing qualification.

This strategy involved 72 initiatives with 11 areas of government, the participation of international experts in planning processes, the drawing up of a map of priorities for intervention around the council buildings and a probability map, and the launching of the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fire.

Tiago Oliveira stressed the need for the Portuguese rural landscape to be changed – which is through the reform of the forest approved by the Government – saying that processes of this nature are long and still only one year has passed.

Meteorology

In meteorological terms, a very relevant meteorological severity situation has been observed since the beginning of August, extending over the following months, reaching the highest temperature levels ​​continuously.

There were also very rapid and unpredictable changes in weather conditions and to meet the new needs the IPMA will invest in the network of meteorological radars, in the network of electric discharges, and in the information to the public.

Reduction of combustible materials

The INCF pointed out that the causes of the fires are, in 53%, burning scrubs and dersbris, in 21%, actions of individuals, and in 11%, re-ignitions.

In 2018, compared to the previous 10 years, there were 43% fewer fires (the second year with the lowest number), and 69% fewer fires (the third year with the lowest number).

At the origin of this improvement are the actions of the Plan of Reduction of Ignitions and the campaigns that produced a change of attitude, as well as the increase of the personnel of about 2000 to more than 2700, and the increase of vehicles from 342 to 447.

The National Planco of Fuel Management, also under the responsibility of the ICNF, executed vegetation cuts in 2,500 hectares (1600 ha were foreseen), fuel interruption lanes in more than 1500 km, forest roads in 879 km.

Civil protection

In the area of ​​civil protection, the main objectives defined by the Government were the preservation of human life and national wealth.

This was achieved by a set of measures focused on increased prevention, a robust and rapid initial attack, and the withdrawal of populations from areas at risk.

In 2018, the country had only one big fire (more than 1000 ha), that of Monchique.

The human resources of the system increased by 11% between 2017 and 2018, land means by 12%, and air means by 17%.

President of Tourism of the North arrested on suspicion of corruption

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Three officials of the public entity and two businessmen were arrested by the Judiciary Police on suspicion of corruption, economic participation in business and influence peddling

The president of the Tourism of the North, Melchior Moreira, two other leaders of the same entity and two businessmen were today arrested by the Northern Direction of the Judiciary Police, for suspicions of corruption, influence peddling and economic participation in business.

Melchior Moreira has been the Regional Tourism Authority of Porto and Northern Portugal since 2008, was re-elected last June and has already been a member of the Assembly of the Republic, elected by the PSD. Natural of Lamego, Moreira, 54 years old, already was also councilman in the Camera of Lamego.

According to PJ, Operation Ether investigates “the presumed repeated and continued practice of the vitiation of public procurement procedures, whose values ​​amount to several million euros”.

“The investigation, centred on the activity of a public legal person, determined the existence of a generalized scheme,  fraudulent vitiation of tender procedures and direct adjustment with the aim of favouring groups of companies, hiring human resources and the use of public resources to meet particular interests, “said the statement from the PJ.

Eleven household and household searches were carried out in the regions of Porto, Gaia, Matosinhos, Lamego, Viseu and Viana do Castelo, and 50 elements of the Judicial Police were involved, including inspectors, computer experts and financial and accounting experts.

This process had already begun months ago, with a series of searches to be carried out last June. At the time, besides the facilities of Turismo do Porto and Norte, the headquarters of Sporting de Braga and Vitória de Guimarães, as well as the Câmara de Viseu, were searched.

The president of the tourism promotion body is suspected of having vacationed in the Algarve with the expenses to be paid by his alleged corruptors.

The detainees, aged between 42 and 54, three officials of public entity and two businessmen, will be present tomorrow the judicial interrogation.

MAI plans to extend SMS warnings to other disasters, in addition to fires

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Câmara de Lisboa authorized the sending of SMS with warnings about the storm Leslie, without authorization of the Data Protection for such. Civil protection is only allowed to send messages in case of maximum fire risk, but the guardianship now admits to extend warnings to other disasters.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) will consider broadening the sending of messages to other situations of catastrophe, in addition to the fires. Currently, the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) is only authorized by the National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) to alert people by SMS in the event of a forest fire threat.

Asked by PÚBLICO, MAI affirms that with the end of the critical period of fires, which the Government had extended to this Monday , October 15, “the balance of the various measures of prevention and firefighting introduced this year” will be examined.  At that time, it will be studied “the possibility of extending the dissemination of warning messages to the populations to other situations of civil protection”.

This weekend, with the worsening weather conditions caused by the storm  Leslie, which caused massive damage in the centre of the country, the city’s council, through the Municipal Parking Company of Lisbon (EMEL), decided to  send an SMS to citizens  with recommendations, on behalf of the municipal Civil Protection – which lacked authorisation from the CNPD.

 

NO PLANS TO FURTHER EXTEND THE CRITICAL FIRE PERIOD BEYOND 15TH OCTOBER

Monday, October 15th, 2018

REINFORCEMENT OF RESOURCES TO COMBAT FIRES TO REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL 31st OCTOBER

According to the ICNF at 1700 hrs today there are NO plans (AT PRESENT) to defer the critical fire period beyond 15th October.

CRITICAL FIRE PERIOD

WEF from 16TH October therefore the following is PROHIBITED in the municipalities concerned where the fire risk is “Very High” or “Extreme”

  • The burning of piled-up waste is not permitted
  • The use of stoves, BBQs and grills is prohibited in all rural spaces, except where used outside of the critical areas and in places duly authorised for the purpose.
  • Smoking and all types of naked flames are prohibited in woodland and forests.
  • Balloons with a lit fuse and rockets are prohibited. Fireworks are only permitted subject to authorisation from the Municipal Council.
  • Fumigating and pest control in apiaries are prohibited except where the fumigators are fitted with spark retention devices.

Additionally when the fire risk is “High”, Very High” or extreme” it is prohibited to carryout burning for grassland renewal, cleaning stubble or debris that is uncut or cut on the ground, but NOT in piles, is not permitted

Before lighting a fire check the Fire Risk in your area and contact the local Bombeiros for instructions and guidance.

REINFORCEMENTS TO REMAIN IN PLACE

Given the meteorological forecasts for the second half of October made available by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) to the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC), the Ministry of Internal Administration decided to reinforce, by the end of October, Special to Combat Rural Fire.

Thus, until October 31, the ground device will be reinforced with a further 624 firefighters. About 500 GIPS soldiers from GNR will be involved in surveillance and surveillance actions.

For air assets, 10 light helicopters will be available on lease, 3 light helicopters owned by the State, 6 medium amphibious aircraft and 3 heavy helicopters.

It was also decided to increase surveillance and surveillance actions by the GNR and PSP in their areas of competence and reinforce land mobile surveillance, based on the commitment of patrols of the Armed Forces, especially in the most sensitive and vulnerable areas.

In the scope of the National Network of Watchtowers, the primary network posts remain in operation until November 6.

This reinforcement of the device is implemented in accordance with the operational flexibility provided for in Operational Directive 2 – SAY.

Damage caused by Tropical Storm Leslie

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Storm Leslie has caused 27 injured, 61 homeless and nearly 1,900 reported incidents to Civil Protection, according to the most recent update of this authority, released on Sunday morning.

According to commander Rui Laranjeira, of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC), all the injured were slight, even though they were transported to a health facility to receive treatment.

The storm also displaced 61 people of whom, 57 were in the district of Coimbra, one in Leiria and three in Viseu. Of the 1,890 incidents recorded by the ANPC, 1,218 were related to tree falls and 441 tocollapse of structures, with wind being the phenomenon that caused the greatest number of occurrences, according to Rui Laranjeira.

According to the commander, the district of Coimbra was the most affected, followed by those of Aveiro, Leiria and Viseu. In the field were 6,373 operational personnel and 2,002 support vehicles..

EDP said EDP said hundreds of thousands of customers have been without electricity since Saturday night as a result of tropical storm Leslie’s damage, Lusa source EDP Distribuição, who says the situation is “very serious.” “At the moment, the northern areas that have not yet been affected are being affected. According to EDP this is a “very serious and complex” situation.

Coimbra, according to this person responsible for the ANPC, was the district where the largest number of occurrences occurred in less time, which is why the resources are being strengthened.

Still in the district of Coimbra are cut several national roads due to the fall of trees. The IC2 is cut to traffic in the areas of Pombal, Leiria and Albergaria-a-Velha.

Storm Leslie is reaching continental territory as a post-tropical depression but with winds with “intensities equivalent to a tropical storm,” with gusts above 130 kph that can reach historic highs of 180/190 kilometers per hour, according to IPMA meteorologist Nuno Moreira.

High voltage pole fall leaves without light about 30 houses in Valongo

The fall of a high-voltage pole in Valongo, in the district of Porto, due to Hurricane Leslie left about 30 homes without electricity, said the source Lusa of the Firemen of Valongo.

According to the same source the alert was given around 00:55, after the strong wind that continues to be felt in the zone to cause the fall of the post, in the parish of Sobrado, causing that “about 30 houses of that street” have been “without electricity”. The Volunteer Firefighters of Valongo had to intervene in the parish of Campo after the fall of two trees to have caused the temporary cut of a secondary road.

Tree fall in Matosinhos causes subway line cutting

The fall of a tree in Senhora da Hora, Matosinhos today caused the cut of Matosinhos metro line and the cutting of the two traffic lanes of Lake Street, said source Volunteer Firefighters of Leixões. According to a source from the Firefighters of Leixões, the fall of the tree in Rua da Lagoa, in Senhora da Hora, Matosinhos, also caused damages in a centennial statue that was in a rotunda. Circulation reestablished on the A1 motorway

The motorway was re-established on the A1 motorway, near the Pombal service area, Brisa said. Transit was temporarily cut off Saturday night on the North Freeway, heading north-south, near Pombal’s service area, due to the fall of a tree caused by the strong wind. Hurricane Leslie’s passage through the mainland, with strong winds, caused trees to fall on Saturday night, roadblocks and power cuts in homes, cancellation of flights and suspension of river links.

Hurricane Leslie struck the mainland as a post-tropical depression, but with winds with “intensities equivalent to a tropical storm,” with gusts above 130 kilometers per hour that can reach historic highs of 180/190 kilometers per hour, according to the report. meteorologist of the IPMA Nuno Moreira.

About 30 flights canceled Saturday night About 30 flights were canceled Saturday night at Lisbon and Funchal airports, according to information available on the ANA – Airports of Portugal portal, most of them due to the passing of the tropical storm Leslie. Not to mention numbers, ANA spokesman Rui Oliveira told Lusa that bad weather was at the origin of “virtually all flights canceled”. According to the ANA portal, 19 arrivals and eight flights of flights were canceled during the night of Saturday at Lisbon airport. At Funchal airport two landings were canceled.

According to the district’s operational commander, there are still some roads cut in the district of Coimbra. Between Mealhada and Coimbra, the Lusa agency found several trees tucked into the road and traffic circulated conditioned and with suppression of one of the roads, in two points of the national road 1.

Jorge Miranda, president of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), said this morning that the post-tropical storm has reached the region of Minho, stressing that the meteorological situation will “normalize rapidly”.

Hurricane Leslie heads towards Portugal landing at Lisbon district

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

IMPA warns for wind gusts exceeding 118 km / h and waves with a maximum height of 12 meters. Partly sunny, with a few clouds

Hurricane Leslie has moved north of Madeira and is preparing to reach the Portuguese coast, the most expected scenario being that it lands on the ground in the Lisbon district in the early hours of the morning, according to the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IMPA).

The latest forecasts show a very high probability of Hurricane Leslie reaching the west coast of mainland Portugal as a post-tropical depression, with hurricane force winds (above 118 km / h) likely to be 5 to 20% between Cabo Mondego and Cabo de Sines, according to the latest IPMA notice

At this moment the most likely scenario is that Leslie will land on the ground in the Lisbon district” in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to the same source. But the hurricane is expected to begin to affect the mainland from 19.00 or 22.00 on Saturday. “Predictions indicate the average wind gust from 40 to 65 km / h with maximum wind gusts up to 120 km /h between 19.00 hrs on Saturday and 07.00 hrs on Sunday, especially on the west coast and the uplands. More than 80% of the average wind speed with tropical storm force (between 63 and 118 km / h) is expected to occour on the coast between Cabo Mondego and Cabo de Sines, “according to IPMA.

The waves are expected to reach 5 to 7 meters, with a maximum height of up to 12 meters in the period between Saturday 23.00 and 04.00 hrs on Sunday. The effect of strong sea turmoil should be amplified by the force of the winds near the center of Leslie, due to the decrease in pressure and the high tide (which occurs around 1800 hrs local time), which may lead to coastal gullies. Precipitation is also foreseen at times between 22.00 hrs Saturday and 10.00 hrs on Sunday, “he concluded.

In total there are 13 districts in mainland Portugal in orange warning (besides two others in Madeira) – the second most serious in a scale of four – and five in yellow warning.

Doctors will gather to warn about chaos in emergency services in winter

Monday, October 8th, 2018

The Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine (SPMI) and the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF) will meet on 13 October in Lisbon to warn of “chaos in emergency services when winter begins.”

SPMI and APMGF said they were worried about the arrival of winter, arguing that “the Portuguese’s appeal to hospital emergencies is twice the average of the OECD countries” – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“In recent years, there has been a tendency to resort to the hospital emergency service, to the detriment of the demand for primary health care. This increasing demand makes hospital emergencies always working within the limits of efficiency and leads to the occurrence of multiple waiting hours in the service, “said João Araújo Correia, president of SPMI.

According to the specialist, this situation “far exceeds the recommendations of the Manchester Triage, compromising the safety of patients and professionals.”

“It was good that there was the political courage to publicize a compulsory circuit for the non-emergent acute patient, which would indicate the need for the primary resource to the Health Centre, being guaranteed, easy access in extended hours,” he says.

It also considers that “significant changes are also necessary in the financing of Hospitals and Health Centres, giving different incentives to the treatment of the acute patient, according to the natural mission of each one.”

The two entities hope that this joint meeting will produce a consensual document, to be released publicly, and sent to the Ministry of Health, the Directorate General of Health and the Regional Health Administrations.

SPMI considers that the increase in the relationship between Internal Medicine and General and Family Medicine “is a fundamental condition for real improvements in the efficiency of the National Health Service”.

 

Fire at Sintra- Cascais National Park

Monday, October 8th, 2018

The Fire that broke out on 6th October in the Sintra-Cascais National Park burned around 600 hectares of land mainly located in the municipality of Cascais.

Twenty one persons were slightly injured in the fires. About three hundred people were evacuated at night from the Guincho campsite, as well as 47 inhabitants of several villages in the region.

According to a report in the Publico the Government has been alerted at least since last May to the high risk of fire in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park: a report prepared by experts from the European Commission who visited Portugal to this effect accounts for the extreme vulnerability of this protected area.

According to Publico, the report indicated that “The structural risk index is very high and extreme.” The report, signed by three experts who came from Spain and worked with national experts, including the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF).

“The authors of the study consider it vital that the resident population and visitors to Sintra be alerted to the risk they are facing, because apparently the current prevention measures are not adequate to the dangerous situation. They suggest the creation of tourist safety areas and self-protection plans for construction and urbanization, but also the need to eliminate the large amount of dead fuel (vegetation) in most forest areas”.

The celebration of rituals or macumbas is also a matter of concern to the experts, as they involve the use of candles at the intersections of forest paths. As well as the lack of resources of the ICNF to manage the lands in its custody.

In view of these findings, the head of the rural fire mission structure recommended to the Secretary of State for Forests early in May various measures, such as the creation of escape routes and support for people who need to burn. “The possibility of large forest fires is already evident in 2018,” he anticipated.

 

JUDICIAL POLICE INVESTIGATES SINTRA – CASCAIS FIRE – PLEASE SHARE

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

The fire that began last night (6th October) in Sintra and then progressed towards Cascais is the third in that area in a few days.

The Judicial Police are investigating the fire, reported the Expresso and a local information site, Cascais 24 . The fire has since been extinguished

According to Cascais 24, this was the third fire that, within a few days, broke out in the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais.

José Palha Gomes, the commander of the Alcabideche Fire Brigade, who coordinated the operations, was cautious about the origin of the fire: “It is a matter for the authorities to investigate.”

Basílio Horta, mayor of Sintra, said, according to the Expresso , that “it is very strange that the fire started at 10.30.” Very strong winds carried the flames to the coastal zone of the Natural Park located in the municipality of Cascais.

A total of 347 people were evacuated, 300 of them from a campsite in Guincho (municipality of Cascais) and 47 from housing. The fight against the flames involved almost 800 operatives and seven aerial means. There were 18 light casualties, 17 of which were firefighters