Archive for April, 2019

Judicial police detain a man for committing felonies of Qualified Homicide, Arson and Desecration of Corpse

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

The Judiciary Police, through the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Board, have identified and detained a 31-year-old male Portuguese man suspected of qualified Homicide, Arson and Desecration of Corpse of a male aged 21 years.

The crime occurred since April 15, 2019 in the Caldas da Rainha area, where the victim’s body was found under a car which had been destroyed by fire, transported to the location and hidden under a bush.

The victim had been missing since April 15, 2019, and the news of his disappearance had been reported to the local police authorities – the Republican National Guard (GNR) the following day by relatives of the victim.

On subsequent days not having the victim been located, the case was passed to the Judicial Police, initially to the section of dealing with the investigation of disappeared persons and later to the homicide division.

The body was discovered in the area of Coruche.

The detainee was present at the first judicial interrogation today, to apply a measure of pre-trial conditions appropriate to the seriousness of this crime,

FUEL DELIVERY STRIKE AFFECTING AIRPORTS AND TRANSPORTATION

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

ANA advises passengers with flights at Lisbon and Faro airports to contact their airlines of their flights, regretting “the inconvenience to passengers” and hoping that “the situation will be resolved with the utmost urgency by the competent authorities” .Government advances with civil requisition in strike of dangerous goods drivers

Strike of drivers of hazardous materials affects fuel supply.

The government today approved a resolution of the Council of Ministers that recognizes the need for civil requisition in the case of the dangerous drivers’ strike, which began on Monday.

According to a statement from the presidency of the Council of Ministers, “the ongoing strike affects the supply of fuels to airports, and ports, as well as fuel supplies to public transport companies and gas stations in Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto “ANA said on Tuesday emergency fuel reserves were hit at Faro airport and it expects the oil companies to stop supplying Lisbon by 12.00 p.m., which could cause “service disruptions”.

ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal therefore admits that “since the minimum services have not been ensured and due to the time required for the civil requisition to have practical effects, our airports may have service disruptions at the operational level”. Airport manager “to monitor the situation at all times”.

Contacted by Lusa, the airport manager reports that “Faro airport has already been hit by emergency supplies, and fuel supplies have been suspended by oil companies since Monday [Monday].”

For Humberto Delgado Airport, in Lisbon, “the same fuel supply interruption is expected by oil companies, starting at noon today”.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency early Tuesday morning, Francisco São Bento of the National Syndicate of Dangerous Goods Drivers (SNMMP) on strike said that the union structure foresaw that in the early afternoon the Lisbon and Faro airports would be without fuel.

The national strike of drivers of hazardous materials, which began at 00:00 on Monday, was called by the National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers (SNMMP) for an indefinite period to claim recognition of the specific professional category and was challenged the minimum services defined by the Government.

According to the union’s data, in the early morning about 40% to 50% of the stations and supply were already out of fuel.

16 Properties seized in Spain in international anti-money laundering operation

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Financial investigators from the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (Nemzeti Adó- és Vámhivatal) disrupted an organised criminal network for value-added tax (VAT) fraud associated with money laundering.

Six criminals have been arrested. The suspects include a business owner with a large-scale business network, his son, the managing director of the company involved in the fraud and three other people. In total, 16 properties in Spain and 5 in Italy were seized by authorities, several vehicles and other belongings worth a total of €70 million. Given the number of criminal assets seized, Hungarian authorities expect to recover the amount in tax lost from the state budget in full.

On the day of the operation, one of the suspects was caught by financial investigators at the airport when travelling to the Maldives. The operation really began from this point on, as the owner of the company, who was visiting Hungary for a short period, and the Hungarian CEO were arrested also at the airport. Later that day, the owner’s son arrived from Dubai and was also detained by the investigators. The operation revealed that several employees had been falsely employed by a temporary employment agency for more money than reported to the Hungarian authorities, which caused millions of euros of losses in VAT and social security tax.

The investigation also revealed that the criminal network was responsible for money laundering, as the profits of bogus transactions were paid out as a dividend (one billion Hungarian forints) to a Cypriot company, then further transferred to a Spanish business in the form of a loan.  The financial investigators interrogated the suspects for high-value budgetary fraud, the use of false personal documents and money laundering offences. The criminals each face up to 20 years in prison.

What is VAT fraud?

VAT fraud is a compound form of tax fraud that relies on the violation of the VAT rules for cross-border transactions. VAT scammers obtain 60 billion of euros in criminal profits every year in the EU by avoiding the payment of VAT or by corruptly claiming repayments of VAT from national authorities.

Seminar – Safe Tourist Destination Algarve – Portimão – 10th April 2019 – Speech by President Safe communities Portugal

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Welcome address by David Thomas -President Safe Communities Portugal

The following is my address which I delivered at the above event.

“Presidente da Câmara Municipal de Portimão, Isilda Gomes, Presidente da Região de Turismo do Algarve João Fernandes, Angelo Marques representing the Ministry of internal administration, presenters, ladies and gentlemen – a warm welcom to this seminar.

This event deals with an important subject, namely at ensuring that the Algarve contines to be one of the safest desitinatiosn in the world. Although crime in the Algarve has continued to decrease, and has in fact outpaced the rest of Portugal over the last 10 years, we must not be complacent.

Last year in the Algarve we saw a continued decrease in overall reported crime. Significantly, violent crime fell by 7.8% compared to 2017.

What was noteworthy in my mind, however, was the fact that in some of our leading tourist destinations in the Algarve, the common types of crime where tourists can become victims, decreased considerably. I am referring in particular to opportunist crime, street robberies and pickpocketting.

I am sure we will learn more about this from the representatives of the security forces shortly.

When I formed Safe Communities Algarve as it was known then in 2011, it was with the support of Isilda Gomes, who was Civil Governor at the time. We recognized then, that the key to fighting crime lay in developing a culture of everyone working together.

We are also grateful to the support we received from the British Embassy with the Ambassador being present at the launch of our associaion and the support we have received since then.

Unfortunately the culture of working together is so often lacking in society.

Having spent 4 years with INTERPOL with 190 member countries, it was clear to me that the spirit of togetherness applies in tackling all major issues, be them social, economic or political.

Looking back over the last 7 years I have seen cosiderable improvement in how various enterties work together in the area of law enforcement, both national and international, engaging with the various civil organisations in order to make Portugal a safer place.

The Contratos Locais de Segurança ClS program is clearly a key driving force in this.

Indeed when I participated in the Urban Safety conference organised by the Minitry of Internal Administration, in Cuimbra in January this year, I was to say the least inspired by the many initiatives that are taking place within this program, both in the Algarve and elsewhere.

I truely believe that the CLS framework provides the impetetus for all of us to do our part by working together, to develop new ideas, engage closely with the community and for every one to become involved – beacause that is the only way to reduce crime and raise quality of life.

When we started Safe Communities Algarve it was at a time when violent crime was much higher than now. It was also during a period where foreigners living in isolated areas in the Algarve were being targetted by overseas crime groups. The perception by many in the foreign community and visitors then was that the Algarve was an unsafe place – I have to say with some justification.

Much has changed since those days, through the tremendous efforts of the security forces, and by creating greater security awareness, so that we can all adopt simple crime prevention measures. This off course includes our efforts to promote Safe Tourism.

By doing this in a positive and informal way, we will attract more tourists – for the simple reason that Safety is of paramount importance in chosing a holiday destination.

Safe Communities is proud to be a partner in the CLS program as it has enabled us to develop initiatives such this seminar today. We held the  “Nighlife,  Alcohol and Security Seminar” last December in Albufeira, which helped address some challenging issues which affect several tourist destinations overseas.

We have planned two more events  in partnership with our colleagues from Regional Tourism Algarve, the PSP and GNR. These will be at Faro Airport and Mar Shopping on 15th and 17th April respectively. This will enable us to engage directly with tourists getting key safety measures across.

Our protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration over the last year has enabled the production of some very eye catching and informative crime prevention material for tourists which are now available in tourism information offices. We have also expanded our Safe Communities Algarve Website, to provided crime preventio advice in 10 lanuages as well as other services to help tourists.

In fact I think we at Safe Communities Portugal have embraced the concept of CLS for some years. We have brought government entities together with the foreign community to tackle sometimes difficult issues such as: alcohol related crime; animal cruelty; fraud affecting the travel industry and cybercrime.

This has been the cornerstone of our development during this period.

Before concluding, I would like to say something about another threat that Portugal faces,  and that is rural fires. I am very glad therefore that my good friend Richard Marques is speaking here today to share his considerable experience on this subject as it affects tourists.

Safe Communities Portugal has been closely involved in this subject for around six years through our protocals with the ANPC, at regional and national level. Since the beginning of 2018 we have been engaged in some 15 projects with government, particuarly in the area of communication.

As with crime prevention,  the key to success in my view, lays in creating awareness in order that every effort is made to prevent fires and, should fires occur, that people know how to protect themselves. This off course includes tourists as well. This means timely and accurate communication at all levels in a way that people can understand.

Examples of our workin this area include the translation of the Safe Village – Safe People leaflets into six languages. We have initiated the production of Safe holidays leaflets circulated throughout the country, the translation of  IPMA daily fire risk chart into English and the ANPC Notification of severe weather warnings to the public, which are now passed to all tourism entities in English.

In fact we will be addressing these issues in more depth on 10th May at a full day conference we are organising with CDOS Faro, and Regional Tourism Algarve – entitled “Tourism – Responding to the Effects of Climate Change and High Impact Events. This will include overseas speakers and experts from within Portugal. We will be publishing more details of this in due course and I encourage you all to attend.

Safety and Security are vital in providing quality tourism. More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourist destination depends on the ability to provide a safe environment for visitors”

So we need to ask ourselves the following questions

Have we been successful in promoting this policy?

We recognize the importance of security, but are we efficient and effective at getting the message across?

This debate aims to determine and improve effective forms of communication to ensure that the Algarve continues to be one of the safest tourist destinations in the world.

 

 

David Thomas

 

Porto- Nine arrested and 21 constituted defendants for Tax Fraud, Criminal Association and illicit exploitation of on-line gambling

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

On 4th April the GNR Tax Action Unit Oporto, carried out an operation following a criminal investigation “Show Down”, which aimed at dismantling an illegal network of sports betting.

The criminal network which was dismantled consisted in the provision, management, payment and collection of money ​​related to sports bets, which were made through access to sites made available in commercial establishments.

In the course of this operation, in which 138 soldiers from the Fiscal Action Unit and the Intervention Unit were engaged, 41 searches were carried out in different locations in the districts of Porto, Braga and Viana do Castelo. Twenty of these were in commercial establishments made available for illegal gambling sites, five at companies involved in the operation of sports betting sites, fifteen to households and one to a warehouse that operated in support of the illicit activity.

At the same time, searches were also carried out in Austria and Germany, where the servers used to exploit the illicit game were located.

As a result of the searches carried out, the following seizures were made:

  • 50 motor vehicles, estimated at one million two hundred thousand euros;
  • Four motorcycles with a value of 31 thousand euros;
  • 54 computer devices in the exploitation of illicit gambling and online sports betting (tablets, external disks, pen drives and printers)
  • 36 computers;
  • Seven gaming machines;
  • 24 mobile phones;
  • About four thousand euros in cash.

Real estate and bank accounts were also arrested in the amount of 292,000 euros.

In view of the transnational dimension of the illicit acts under investigation, this operation involved Europol’s assistance and operational support, which also provided an analyst to follow up the proceedings in Portugal and, in the context of the coordination of judicial cooperation, the intervention of EUROJUST.

In this operation nine individuals were arrested and 21 defendants were constituted, and nine notices were drawn up for illegal exploitation of sports betting and games of chance.

The detainees are being present at the Criminal Investigation Court of Porto, for the application of pre-trial measures, being indicted for illicit exploitation of online gambling, criminal association and tax fraud.

Portuguese Mission of Civil Protection returns from mission in Mozambique

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Around 60 personnel have returned to Portugal, who, during the last ten days, have been part of Joint Operational Force mission in Mozambique, coordinated by the National Authority of Emergency and Civil Protection. These personnel, from a total of 93 that were part of the mission, were engaged in operations of transportation of goods, water purification, clearing of roads in Beira and evaluation and aerial reconnaissance of the critical zones through drones.

This mission comprised personnel from the Special Fire Department, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, the National Guard and the National Guard, the fire brigade of the Santarém district, the National Emergency Medical Institute and the EDP Company.

In Mozambique there will still be 28 elements from INEM (Campaign Hospital), one ANEPC commander, four GIPS / GNR soldiers (two to operate with drones and two to provide training at Búzi to operate the water treatment plant , which was donated by the Portuguese government to Mozambique) and three elements for support in logistics operations.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, mentioned the excellent work carried out in coordination with the Mozambican authorities on their arrival of the operatives at the Lisbon military airport.

Eduardo Cabrita said that “the rescue phase is complete”, and that the “humanitarian and public health area” is now a priority, and that in Mozambique there are some elements to coordinate with the local authorities.

The minister also highlighted the commitment of an INEM field hospital, where two deliveries have already taken place, adding that this is proof that “Mozambique is reborn. There are new

2019 – More operational, vehicles and aircraft to fight fires announced

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

The last fortnight of May will have a 21% increase in combat means compared to last year, with 288 more teams, 1316 operations, 294 vehicles and six aircraft more than in 2018.

The resources to fight fires will be reinforced this year with more operational, vehicles and air assets, the most visible increase in the last fortnight of May, according to the National Operational Directive (DON) approved on Tuesday.

The Directive which the Lusa agency had access to, was approved this Tuesday 2nd April at the National Commission for Civil Protection and establishes the Special Firefighting Device (DECIR) for 2019.

As happened in 2018, this year’s DECIR is organized and operates “on a permanent basis”, reinforced by the probability of the occurrence of rural fires and the alert of the Integrated Protection and Relief Operations System (SIOPS).

The largest reinforcement of combat resources takes place in the last fortnight of May, which will increase by 21% compared to 2018

According to the DON, the last fortnight of May, with a commitment of level II means, will have 288 more teams, 1316 operations, 294 vehicles and six aerial means than in 2018, counting the device this year with a total of 1761 teams, 7606 operational, 1735 vehicles and 38 air assets.

July, August and September continue to mobilize more

However, July, August and September, considered the most critical period in fires, continue to mobilize the largest number of resources, this year having 11,492 operational, 2653 teams, 2493 vehicles and 60 air assets.

Last year, this level of maximum commitment (denominated by level IV) counted on 10,767 operatives, 2463 teams, 2303 vehicles and 55 aerial means.

The document establishes, for the month of June (level III), a device of 2081 teams, 9038 operational, 2073 vehicles and 60 aerial means. In relation to 2018, June will have another 202 teams, 851 elements, 215 vehicles and 12 aerial means.

In the first half of October, the media commitment is also level III and will be operational 2147 teams, 9279 operational, 1972 vehicles and 60 air assets. At the same time last year, DECIR was composed of 1944 teams, 8352 fighters, 1763 vehicles and 34 aircraft.

The DON also indicates that between 16 and 31 October, the permanent commitment forces and 39 air assets are included, and the number of means determined according to the assessment of the danger and the risk of fire.

Between 1 November and 31 December, where the mobilization of resources is the lowest (level I), the forces of permanent commitment and 17 aircraft will be operational, three of them from the State and 14 of them leased.

Also with level I, the period of 1 January and 14 May counts on the forces of permanent commitment and 14 aerial means. During Level I, the hazard and fire risk assessment will determine the level of additional media commitment.

Fire brigades, GNR Emergency and Protection Unit; Special Firefighters Force and forest sapper brigade teams are part of the permanent firefighting engagement forces.

The DON notes that the means of combating fires planned for this year can be changed “due to the risk of fire predictable”.

The same document also indicates that the National Network of Watch Stations , under the responsibility of the GNR, will be in operation from 7 May to 30 October, with 228 stations operating between 1 July and 15 October and the remaining 72

 

Safe Holidays – Prevention and Protection Leaflet against Rural Fires

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Safe Communities Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and ANPC have combined to produce the following leaflet to protect visitors against rural fires.

It is important all entities involved in tourism are aware of this and inform their clients accordingly.

Please download and study here.

 https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SAFE-HOLIDAYS-prevent-and-protect-yourself-from-wildfires.pdf

Seizure of firearms contributes to an 8.6% fall in violent crime

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

The minister of Internal Affairs announced on Tuesday the “additional control of the use of arms” so that Portugal continues to be a safe country, considering its limitation is an “essential contribution” in the revision of the law that is currently under way.

“More weapons are no longer security, we need additional control of the use of weapons because we want to continue to be a safe country in this matter,” said Eduardo Cabrita at the signing ceremony of a protocol on weapons and explosives, signed between the Security Police and the Spanish Civil Guard.

“The weapons law that is currently under review by the Assembly of the Republic is an essential contribution that we hope will be approved by the end of this legislative session,” said Eduardo Cabrita.

The minister stressed that the revision of the current law establishes mechanisms of effectiveness in the control of the use of weapons and explosives, in the demands of their destruction and, above all, in limiting the weapons that are available to citizens.

The Government’s draft law transposes a directive of the European Union and contributes to the adoption of prevention and control mechanisms in order to ensure that firearms holders meet the physical and psychological conditions for “use and possession”, in addition to limit the number of weapons that each person can have at home.

“The comparative experiences in several continents clearly demonstrates that the European solution, the Portuguese view of this subject is correct and has contributed to the very positive result in matters of violent and serious crime,” he said.

The revision of the weapons law, which is currently being discussed in the Assembly of the Republic after having been approved last September in the Council of Ministers, deserved the challenge of the National Confederation of Portuguese Hunters and gunsmiths for the restrictions imposed.

At the ceremony, the Minister of Home Affairs highlighted the work done by PSP in the area of ​​weapons and explosives, reporting that it went from 21,000 weapons destroyed in 2015 to 36,500 in 2018. There was a 36% increase in seizures of arms in 2018 and a 28% increase in the seizure of explosives.

“This is a matter that contributed decisively to the many positive results” of violent and serious crime, which fell 8.6% last year compared to 2017, said Eduardo Cabrita.