Archive for 2019

Judicial Police Annual Dug Report 2018 – Cocaine

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

In 2018, 3,343 drug seizures (all types) were registered, of which 2,928 are recorded by weight and 412 in units and 3 in liquid form.

Cocaine appears as the narcotic with largest amounts seized.

Cocaine Seizures

In 2018, in terms of combating cocaine trafficking, approximately 5.53 tonnes were seized, in a total of 498 cases. The amount of cocaine seized increased by 102.6% in 2018, compared to with the previous year, standing at 5,538.23 kg compared with 2,734.16 kg seized in 2017. This is the highest since 2015.

The increase in quantities seized is associated with an increase of 16.9% in the number of cases which rose from 426 to 498, which is the highest in the last five years.

Of the quantities seized 90.9% (5,036.07 kg) was by the Judicial Police. The GNR also recorded a very significant increase in the quantities seized, from 45.5 kg in 2017 to 365. 51 kg in 2018.

In seizures of cocaine, the sea route continues to be the used for the transportation of high quantities, reaching in 2018 a total of 3,101.16 kg in 8 cases. These values represent 56% of the total cocaine seized, but only 1.61% of cases,

The overland route comes with 2,117.51 ​​kg (38.23%) in 342 cases (68.67%), followed by the airway with 309.76 kg seized in 105 cases.

Routes

As recorded in previous years, the national territory continues to be used by several groups and organizations as a transit point for significant quantities of cocaine from the Latin America and the Caribbean, whose final destination is for other European countries.

Based on the division of the various flows identified by geographic area of ​​origin, as in previous years Brazil stands out both for the number of seizures (100) and for the amount seized (277.70 kg). In terms of quantities, Martinique, with 840,00 kg, and Colombia, with 485.45 kg, appear as the main countries of origin of cocaine seized.

Regarding the destinations Spain was identified as a destination country of 2,148.95 kg 18 seizures, corresponding to 38.8% of the total cocaine seized, but only3.6% of the total seizures.

With the same number of cases, France was a destination country with 870.21 kg of cocaine seized. Only 12 were the final destination were non-European countries

Portugal was identified as a destination country of 1,007.73 kg seized on 67 occasions.

It should be noted that of the 498 seizures registered there is only information on the route in 123 situations, the others being unknown.

At the national level, the districts where the largest quantities of cocaine are: Lisbon (2,419.54kg), Azores (2,270.39 kg), Setúbal (481.87 kg) and Santarem (340.03kg).

As regards the number of seizures, only two districts exceed 100 cases: Lisbon with 148 and Faro with 102.

A very hot summer forecasted

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Intense heat and record temperatures will mark the summer of Europe this year. The threat of fire will be high in Portugal and the heat waves will last for several days, announces the US website AccuWeather.

Heat waves, temperatures of 43C over several consecutive days, risk of high fire. This is the scenario set for this year’s summer in the Iberian Peninsula – and especially for Portugal -, the AccuWeather meteorology site stated on Tuesday. Night time temperatures will also be hot.

The areas at greatest risk will be from northern Portugal into northern Spain and from the Alps into Germany and Czech Republic.

IPMA RESPONSE

In response IPMA the official weather organisation in Portugal, which issues various alerts, has stated that this will be the trend, in line with climate change, but has given a more “prudent analysis”.

An IPMA spokesman They add this is not new “and that this summer will be marked by temperatures above normal. In fact, this is the trend of recent years in line with the phenomenon of climate change.

However, commenting on the long-term forecasts of AccuWeather  that point to hot flashes with temperatures reaching 43ºC, the specialist warns that in terms of weather “can not be generalized” and that it is difficult to do predictions at such a long distance because there are many parameters at play.

“Everything indicates that we have a summer with temperatures above normal … and it is even likely that some points in the country can reach values ​​above 43ºC, ” says the expert, noting that this happened last year. As an example, in August 2018, Setúbal reached 45.9 and some regions surpassed 44ºC.

Thus, IPMA opted for a “prudent analysis”, worked in relation to previous periods, and it is not possible to anticipate heat waves such as those predicted by the US site, although the trend is this

ACCUWEATHER REPORT

“Europe will have a summer full of intense heat,” says the report. The heat wave arrives in June and crosses the Iberian Peninsula, drifting northward during the summer months.

The document highlights that the heat wave coming in the coming weeks will be even stronger and more persistent than last summer, when record temperatures were recorded in countries such as Portugal, Belgium or the Netherlands.

On the mainland, rainfall will be low during the summer months and temperatures will be even higher than those recorded in 2018. Even when the heat waves pass, temperatures will remain close to or even above normal, explains the report of the platform.

The threat of fire then expands to the northeast and will reach France, the Alps and Germany. Between July and August, all of central Europe is expected to be on alert due to the high risk of fire.

Unseasonably warm nights will also be a concern during these heat waves, making for dangerous conditions as homes without air conditioning that will be unable to cool down before heat builds again the following day.

It will be important for residents and visitors to take extra care in the heat to prevent illness. Drinking plenty of water, spending time in the shade and wearing light clothing will be necessary.

When possible, strenuous outdoor activity should be avoided during the hottest part of the day.

Stagnant conditions contributing to the intense heat will also result in poor air quality, especially in and near cities. Air quality may also be worsened by smoke from wildfires.

Twenty two arrested in the dismantling of a major crime group who amassed €680 million from their criminal activities

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Europol have reported that a highly professional and dangerous international organised crime group was dismantled last week after a complex investigation carried out in the framework of a Joint Operational Task Force, established at Europol, between the Lithuanian Criminal  Police Bureau, the British HM Revenue and Customs, the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation, the Estonian Central Criminal Police under the Police and Border Guard Board and the Spanish Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional.

The operation, code-named ‘Icebreaker’, is the biggest of its kind to date in Europe against such an organised crime group, comprising nationals of Lithuania and other EU countries, involved in large-scale drug and cigarette trafficking, assassinations and money laundering.

Over 450 police and customs officers, including special interventions units, in Poland, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Spain carried out coordinated raids targeting the members of this long term existing, highly professional and dangerous criminal network in the early hours of 15 and 16 May with the support of Europol and Eurojust.

As a result, the suspected ringleader – a 48 year old Lithuanian national, was arrested in Spain. A further 21 suspects were detained in Poland, Lithuania, Spain and the United Kingdom. 40 house searches took place, resulting in the seizure of €8 million in cash, diamonds, gold bars, jewellery and luxury vehicles, as well as the discovery of hidden compartments used to smuggle drugs and psychotropic substances. A substantial quantity of illicit cigarettes was also seized.

The magnitude of the damage caused by this organised crime group is significant: it is believed that these criminals acquired an estimated €680 million as a result of their criminal activities for the period 2017-2019 alone. This criminal group would traffic drugs and cigarettes into the UK, before smuggling the illegally obtained cash to Poland by different means.

The money was then laundered via currency exchange offices and subsequently invested in real estate in Spain and other countries. The leaders and members of this crime group used counter surveillance and counter intelligence measures to try to evade law enforcement authorities, as well as specialised encrypted communication devices.

Portugal: Police arrest 17 Hells Angels

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The Judicial Police have today (21st May 2019) conducted searches  in Lisbon and other parts of the country on resulting in the arrest of 17 people as part of a case that involves Hells Angels bikers, a police source told Lusa. Some 150 Judicial Police were involved in the operation. Those arrested are aged between 29 and 52 years.

In March last year, about 20 bikers of the Hells Angels group invaded a restaurant in Prior Velho, near Lisbon, to attack the Red & Gold group, created by Mário Machado. The two rival groups were involved in a fight inside the establishment, with knives, sticks, iron bars and other objects.

This episode of violence led the police to begin a nationwide operation and to hold, in July last year, the first 58 members of the motorcycle group Hells Angels in Portugal (which had one in Germany).

In March 2019, the court of Lisbon held six more members in custody, and in February decided to keep 23 other defendants in remand.

In total there are 38 in pre-trial detention of the 68 defendants (one of them in Germany).

The suspects are indicted of criminal association crimes, attempted first-degree homicide, theft, assault, possession of prohibited weapons and drug trafficking.

There have been Hells Angels groups in Portugal since at least 2002. In the US, where the organisation was founded in the 1940s with its members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it has for several years been considered by the Department of Justice to be an organised crime syndicate.

Person detained with almost two million smuggled cigarettes seized in Montalegre

Monday, May 20th, 2019

A person was detained and nearly two million smuggled cigarettes seized by the GNR in Montalegre (Vila Real), in an operation it was announced today.

According to the GNR, the seizure took place last Friday, under the IBÉRIA operation, which sought to carry out searches for a site used as a support base by an international criminal organization. It was used to store fraudulently produced tobacco to supply the marginal commercial circuits, both in national territory and in other European countries.

In a statement, the GNR states that 1,897,940 cigarettes of different brands were seized, packed in about 95 thousand packs “that did not bear the fiscal stamp required for its commercialization in the national territory” and had a commercial value of around 420 thousand euros.

If it had been sold to the public, recalls the GNR, “it would have harmed the State by more than 320 thousand euros, resulting from the evasion of tax levied on Special Tax on Tobacco (IT) and VAT.”

A 41-year-old man was arrested and appeared before at the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action of Oporto (DIAP), but was released on payment of a security of five thousand euros, being subject to periodic presentations at the police station in his area of ​​residence.

The operation of the Tax Action Unit, through the Tax Action Detachment of Oporto, was supported by the Intervention Unit and the support of the Spanish authorities through the Central Operative Unit of the Civil Guard.

PSP of Lisbon makes 53 arrests, 39 related to football celebrations

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

The PSP has made 53 arrests between Saturday morning and today 19th May, 39 of which related to the festivities of the winning of the football league by Benfica, the PSP said.

A note from the PSP revealed that, as part of the operational activity of the Lisbon Metropolitan Command, through surveillance operations in a 24-hour period, since 9:00 am on Saturday, “made 53 arrests”, of which 17 were for “Illegal possession of pyrotechnic devices”.

The remaining detainees are: drunk driving  (ten), driving without a license, illegal possession of a weapon (6),  drug trafficking (5), execution of arrest warrant  (3), disobedience (2) and theft” (one).

Most arrests for possession of pyrotechnics are related to the celebrations of winning the title of Portuguese football champion by Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which lasted the night in Marquês de Pombal Square, a PSP source told Lusa.

The operations also led to the seizure of 103.91 grams of hashish, corresponding to 207.82 individual doses of consumption, explained the PSP in the same statement.

Benfica secured their 37th Portuguese league title on Saturday with a 4-1 win at home to Santa Clara, who finished with 87 points, two more than FC Porto.

 

Person arrested caught in the act of setting fire to a forest in Castelo Branco

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

A 67-year-old man was caught in the act of committing a crime of causing a forest fire on Thursday 16th May by GNR soldiers from the Alcains Territorial Post.

In a statement, the Territorial Command of Castelo Branco of the GNR explained that “The military went immediately to the scene, eventually arresting the suspect who was carrying out a burning, over which he lost control, spreading the fire to an area of ​​bush and cork trees,” reads the note.

The GNR said that the burning of fires was prohibited in the municipality of Castelo Branco, due to the “high risk of rural fires”

The detainee was constituted defendant and subject to pre-trial conditions of a term of identity and residence, and the facts were sent to the Judicial Court of the District of Castelo Branco.

Comment

The burning of uncut vegetation or piled cut debris when the fire risk is HIGH and above or VERY HIGH respectively, or when temporary measures have been put in place by Government, is prohibited and carries heavy fines. Likewise in conditions whereby such burning are allowed and permission give, any burning becoming out of control also carries severe penalties. People are reminded for the safety of everyone to comply with the law.

New law imposes a maximum of 25 weapons on hunters

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Revision of the “Arms Act” was unanimously approved by the Assembly of the Republic.

The sixth amendment to the Legal Regiment of Arms and Ammunition is approved. The so-called “Law of Arms” was voted on Wednesday 15th May with the approval of all parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic and imposes a maximum of 25 shotguns and rifles per hunter.

The first proposal put forward by the Government for the reformulation of the standard has generated a strong opposition among hunters, collectors, shooting practitioners, gunsmiths and many of those who have a license to use and carry a weapon.

They argued that the new definitions of what is a weapon and the restrictions imposed would increase the discretionary power of those who oversee and could increase the arms trade.

The associations linked to the sector also ensured that the initial wording of the law would allow for various interpretations of what is a crime and prohibited legal hitherto weapons

Portugal: Deaths from Domestic violence worryingly high – APAV

Friday, May 17th, 2019

On 13th May APAV presented the statistical report of the Support Network for Relatives and Friends of Victims of Homicide and Victims of Terrorism (RAFAVHVT). The report reports to the year 2018 on the support provided by this sub-network of APAV and the work of the Observatory of Homicide Crimes (OCH) – Press Office of Murder Crimes in Portugal and Portuguese Dead Abroad.

In 2018, the RAFAVHVT dealt with 1218 cases, including new support processes and cases that it has been monitoring from previous years, to which 28 attempted murder crimes and 19 homicide crimes in the consummated form were added in 2018

The report concluded that domestic violence resulting in death is disproportionately high in Portugal and in nearly a third of cases reported to the country’s Victim Support Association (APAV) there was an intimate relationship between the victim and the attacker.

“Relationships between spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, partners and ex-partners, represent 31.25% of all different types of relationships,” APAV said.

Analysing the 38 cases of attempted homicide presented by the support network, the number showed that almost 40% of them (11) resulted from an intimate relationship between the aggressor and the victim, with four cases committed by the spouse, three by a partner and three others by an ex-partner.

In statements to Lusa, the head of the network, Bruno Brito, pointed out that “it is worrying” the issue of proximity between the culprit of the crime and the victim, and how that represents a “fairly large slice” among the reported homicides.

Brito said there were 87 cases of homicide in Portugal last year, 32 (36.78%) of which in the context of domestic violence, 20 (23%) of which with female victims.

APAV said that it continues to establish partnerships with Portuguese authorities while waiting for an official protocol with the ministry of foreign affairs to have a systematic procedure and all the situations of Portuguese murdered abroad may have the same type of follow-up.

Funchal – Person fined two thousand euros for having telephone in “Flight Mode” in the aircraft

Friday, May 17th, 2019

A passenger flying to Funchal had to pay a fine of two thousand euros for having put the phone in “flight mode” instead of turning it off

If you travel by plane, you know that during the trip you should turn off your mobile phone or put it in “flight mode”. The reason for doing so is that the device may interfere with the aircraft’s communications system.

But not completely turning off the phone may end up in fine. This is what happened to a passenger who was traveling to Funchal. According to Deco (Consumer organisation), this passenger disobeyed the indications of the crew to turn off the device and put it in “flight mode” only. The result was a fine of two thousand euros.

When he landed at Funchal, the passenger had the authorities waiting for him to identify him. Months later, the passenger was notified by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) to pay a fine of two thousand euros, on the grounds that the aircraft could interfere with the airplane’s communications system, even in “flight mode”.

The matter advanced to court and in a first phase, the Court of Competition, Regulation and Supervision was right to the passenger, who argued that “mobile phones have evolved a lot in recent years” and that the safety rules of the plane were mismatched. However, the Lisbon Court of Appeal decided that the fine should be paid. In the accord, quoted by Deco, it is read that in the case of the safety of all, the company can only change the procedures by means of instructions express and clear taking into account the construction of the aircraft.

Under the regime for the prevention and prosecution of illegal acts committed on board commercial flights, using a mobile phone or any other electronic device during flight, when prohibited, constitutes a very serious misdirection. The prohibition shall be communicated to passengers at the beginning of the flight and, where possible, at the time of purchase of the ticket. In question is a fine ranging from two to four thousand euros.

Despite this decision, most airlines have relaxed their rules since 2014. For example, TAP already authorizes the use of smartphones, tablets or laptops while travelling, as long as they are connected in “flight mode”. Already during take-off and landing, the laptop computer should be turned off and saved.

When in doubt, it is best to clarify with the crew members.