Archive for August, 2019

Eleven Russians accused of drug trafficking and criminal association in Cape Verde’s biggest drug bust

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

The freighter carrying the drug from South America was destined for the northern city of Tangier.

The Cape Verdean prosecutor charged 11 Russian citizens arrested in January in a freighter in the port of Praia with almost ten tons of cocaine on board accused of aggravated narcotics trafficking and criminal association crimes.

According to a statement issued today by the Cape Verde Attorney General’s Office (PGR), concerned “operation ESER”, which on January 31 led to the largest drug seizure in the country, detected on a flag cargo ship of the Panama (named “ESER”) which docked at the port of Praia carrying 9.57 tonnes of “high purity” cocaine, incinerated by the authorities days later.

According to the statement, after completing all due diligence, the Public Prosecution Service completed  he investigation on July 29, filing a complaint and requesting judgment in a joint proceeding and with the intervention of the Collective Court.

The 11 people arrested since January and “who, at the time of the facts, were serving on the ship” are charged. They are “strongly indicted” of the commission of a drug trafficking offense aggravated by material co-authoring and royal competition with a crime of membership of the criminal association.

It was also requested that all objects, goods and products seized as part of the operation be declared as “lost to the State”, as soon as the 100-meter-long freighter “ESER” with a total weight of 3,800 tonnes and mobile phones, laptops, satellite telephones and GPS equipment, “because they were used to commit the crime in question”.

 

Hazardous vehicles drive’ strike

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

The government approved Tuesday 13th  August the civil requirement of drivers of hazardous materials, which will be applied gradually. Initially in only affects the southern areas (Photo courtesy Antonio Cotria – Lusa)

General civil requisition is not out of the question, it depends on the duration of the strike and the fulfilment of minimum services.

According to data from the National Entity for the Energy Sector, at 8:00 am on Tuesday, the 13th, the 22 stations of the Special Network of Gas Station (REPA) of the Algarve had only 20.6% of the total gasoline stock and 21.6% diesel.

In Beja, the volume was 27.9% (gasoline) and 21.2% (diesel) in the 11 REPA stations. Data for these two districts – Faro and Beja – are very low compared to those in the rest of the country.

CIVIL REQUISITION

Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Tiago Antunes, said that the resolution will be complemented by two ordinances: “One will focus on civil requisition only in the areas and services where, to date, non-compliance with minimum services has been identified; the other will establish the terms in which the intervention of the Armed Forces under this civil requisition will take place. In all there will be 120 military personnel, including drivers and helpers.

Tiago Antunes pointed out that the non-fulfilment of minimum services has already been verified, “supplying the southern part of the country from Sines, supplying REPA, supplying airports and supplying autonomous natural gas units”.

Pedro Pardal Henriques, spokesman for the Hazardous Drivers’ Union (SNMMP), in Aveiras de Cima, Lisbon sated that all drivers of hazardous goods vehicles are working, this Tuesday, the second day of strike and the first in which civil requisition has ken effect.

Despite this, Pardal Henriques believes that “gradually, the gas stations will be empty”.

Although “this morning everything is going smoothly,” the GNR military continues to escort the tanker trucks leaving the various locations to fill the stations, a source at Lusa .

The drivers are today completing the second day of an indefinite strike with the aim of demanding from ANTRAM compliance with the agreement signed in May, which provides for a wage increase

EASYJET STATEMENT

Due to the strike EasyJet issued a warning this evening that “some flights to and from Portugal may require additional technical stops to refuel at alternative airports. It also advised passengers traveling to and from Portugal to check the status of their flight as well as to travel to national airports with “extra time” due to the driver’s strike.

 

Some Tips During the Fuel Crisis

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

The Minister of Internal Administration yesterday advised motorists where possible to only make “indispensable” (essential) journeys during the strike period.

Safe Communities has produced the following tips (some obvious) to help motorists during this period;

Generally

  • Use public transport where possible
  • Refer to gas station fuel supply maps to check which stations have supplies
  • Car-pooling – if you know someone taking a similar journey
  • Efficient planning of appointments – try and schedule your diary to the lowest travel distance
  • Drive efficiently – use less fuel
  • Ask your employer, if appropriate, if you can work from home
  • Already scheduled appointments try to reschedule to another date.
  • If longer journeys are essential – use route calculator to show most efficient use in the use of fuel

Fuel

  • At fuel stations please follow directions of police who may be manging congestion
  • Advice is not to use Jerry cans which can be unsafe if not transported properly. If you do they must be approved for this purpose.
  • For tourists – Please allow sufficient fuel and time if you need to get fuel before returning your car.
  • Remember cars are restricted to 15 litres
  • Note that some fuel stations only have fuel supply for emergency vehicles – do not try and use these as they cannot serve you.

Parking

  • When parking overnight in particular, please lock your car to deter fuel theft.

For tourists

  • For tourists check with airports to see if there is any disruption. They are essential services and a 100% minimum supply has been designated.

Health

  • If you are taking any medication which may finish during the strike period, ensure you have sufficient to cover the possible period.

 

ANTRAM ACCUSES DRIVERS UNIONS OF FAILING DEADLINE TO ASSIGN WORKERS TO ENSURE MINIMUM FUEL DELIVERIES ARE MET

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Lisbon, 11 Aug 2019 (Lusa) – The Association of Freight Transporters accuses unions of not meeting the deadline for sending workers to the minimum service levels.

In a statement issued this morning, the National Association of Public Road Hauliers (ANTRAM) indicates that unions should have designated workers to perform minimum services up to 24 hours before the strike begins, which starts at Monday.

“This obligation was breached by the unions once again, contrary to what they said they would do throughout the media during yesterday [Saturday],” writes ANTRAM, in a note sent by André Matias de Almeida, lawyer and Association’s spokesperson.

The Independent Freight Drivers Union (SIMM) and the National Hazardous Goods Drivers Union (SNMMP) decided on Saturday to continue the strike starting indefinitely Monday after a joint plenary session.

For ANTRAM, trade unionists are “doing everything” so that minimum services are NOT met.

“It would be much more efficient for companies to comply if trade unions immediately indicated the workers who were going to do it, as this would contribute to less tension between employers and workers, as companies will now refer workers”, refers to ANTRAM’s note.

Thus, transport companies will assign workers to minimum services, hoping that “it will be possible to contact workers who will be assigned to minimum services”.

The government has enacted minimum services of between 50% and 100%, rationed fuel supplies and declared an energy crisis until 11:59 pm on 21 August, which implies “exceptional measures” to minimize the effects of the shutdown and ensure service provision for essential services such as security forces and medical emergency.

Algarve – Alert Situation Statement | Energy Crisis

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Algarve – Alert Situation Statement | Energy Crisis

The District Civil Protection Commission of Faro held an extraordinarily meeting last night August 10, following Order No. 7130-C / 2019, issued by the Minister of Internal Affairs, who declared the Alert Situation in Civil Protection Basic Law .

This meeting, preceded by the extraordinary meeting of the District Operational Coordination Centre (CCOD) and the consultation of the Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC) of the Region, aimed to assess the state of play on fuel supply in the Region as well as determining and monitoring measures of the impacts associated with this situation.

Considering the current state of play in the Region, which was found to be normal, with few exceptions, it was unanimously decided not to propose the activation of the District Civil Protection Emergency Plan (PDEPC), as no criteria existed for the effect.

The CDPC also decided, in keeping with current monitoring, to request the Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC) to monitor the situation of fuels in the Strategic Network of Gas Stations (REPA).

In order to maintain safety levels and public normalcy, the CDPC advises all citizens not to resort to the use of Jerry cans to cope with this period of Energy Crisis, remembering that improper or irresponsible use of them may cause danger to property and people. It also points out that it is prohibited to store liquid fuels because of the risk of vapour release and ignition, and that there are limits to the amount of fuel to be carried in Jerry cans in a private car. In addition to the safety procedures that the situation requires, the CDPC appeals to common sense, public tranquillity, and sensible preventive precautions.

The CDPC will continue to monitor the situation through the CCOD and will meet again, if necessary, taking appropriate action at any given time.

Press Release – Alert Situation Statement Energy Crisis

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

The District Civil Protection Commission of Faro met extraordinarily today, August 10, following Order No. 7130-C / 2019, issued by His Excellency the Minister of Internal Affairs, who declared the Alert Situation in Civil Protection Basic Law (LBPC), Law No. 27/2006, of July 3, as amended (Law No. 80/2015, of August 3), for the period between 23:59 hours of August 09 and 23:59 hours of August 21, 2019, for the whole territory of mainland Portugal.

This meeting, preceded by the extraordinary meeting of the District Operational Coordination Centre (CCOD) and the consultation of the Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC) of the Region, aimed to assess the state of play on fuel supply in the Region as well as determination of monitoring measures of the impacts associated with this situation.

Considering the current state of play in the Region, which was found to be normal, with few exceptions, it was unanimously decided not to propose the activation of the District Civil Protection Emergency Plan (PDEPC), as no criteria for the effect.

The CDPC also decided, in keeping with current monitoring, to request the Municipal Civil Protection Services (SMPC) to monitor the situation of fuels in the Strategic Network of Gas Stations (REPA).

In order to maintain safety levels and public normality, the CDPC advises all citizens not to resort to Jerry cans to cope with this period of Energy Crisis, remembering that improper or irresponsible use of this equipment may cause danger to property and humans. It also points out that it is prohibited to store liquid fuels because of the risk of vapour release and ignition, and that there are limits to the amount of fuel to be carried in Jerry cans in a private car. In addition to the safety procedures that the situation requires, the CDPC appeals to common sense, public tranquillity, and preventive behaviours.

The CDPC will continue to monitor the situation through the CCOD and will meet, if necessary, taking appropriate action at any given time.

Safe Communities Portugal attended the CDPC meeting and raised the issue concerning the transportation and storage of fuel

Minister of Internal Administration ensures that emergency network will respond to priority state functions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Lisbon, 10 Aug 2019 (Lusa) – The Minister of Internal Affairs said today, as part of the drivers’ strike, that the emergency network, with 52 exclusive and 320 non-exclusive filling stations, “will allow the response to the priority functions of the state”.

Eduardo Cabrita was speaking at the end of an emergency meeting of about two hours with the president of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), representatives of ministries and security forces “to settle details” for operations during the indefinite strike of drivers for hazardous materials and goods, which begins on Monday and has been confirmed today in trade unions.

“This meeting resulted from Friday’s statement by the Council of Ministers of a situation of energy crisis, starting today, on a preventive basis and the determination by order MAI and the Ministry of the Environment to start operating from 00:00 Sunday of the emergency network of filling stations, consisting of 52 exclusive and 320 non-exclusive filling stations, and putting all Civil Protection structures on alert”he said.

The official stated that at today’s meeting, at the Civil Protection headquarters in Carnaxide, involving all areas of Government that are represented, security forces and other Civil Protection agents, “an analysis of the close partnership between ANEPC and ENSE, the authority that regulates the state’s energy reserves, has the mechanisms that will ensure that the emergency network will be able to respond to what the state’s priority operating needs are.

“We have determined mechanisms that involve all areas of governance, which will allow to assess from Monday, starting day of the strike, to check daily the need for response, contemplating access to this network of priority ports and a set of other institutions, public and private, due to the urgency of reviewing public supply, ”he added.

 

 

Fuel Rationing during drivers strike

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Restrictions come into place Sunday 11th August 23 59 hrs

Lusa.pt Portugal’s government announced on Friday 9th August that during the truckers’ strike, refuelling for light vehicles will be rationed to a maximum of 25 litres and heavy vehicles 100 litres, available only at filling stations that do not belong to the Strategic Network of Filling Stations (SNFS).

In a press conference, the minister of environment and energy transition, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, explained that SNFS has two types of stations: one for priorities, such as the armed forces, medical emergency, transport of agricultural products and the other for the general public.

There are 321 priority stations in the SNFS network.

The general public can refuel at SNFS stations that are not exclusive to priority transport or similar, but with a limit of 15 litres.

The strike, scheduled for 12 August for an indefinite period, threatens to bring the country to a stand-still, since it will affect all types of transport in all areas, not only the transport of dangerous goods. Supplies to supermarkets, industry and services will all be affected.

 

 

Safety concerning the storage and transportation of Jerry Cans containing fuel

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Lisbon, 09 Aug (Lusa) – People who are storing fuel inside their homes jerry cans are in breach of the law regulating the Technical Fire Safety in Buildings, National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC).

According to a reply sent to Lusa by ANEPC, the decree-law regulating the technical subject of Fire Safety in Buildings states that “in places of use inside buildings and enclosures only the existence of combustible gases in exclusively for LPG and non-LPG gas bottles or cartridges”.

The same ordinance, in the article concerning “Collection of Condominiums” refers to the prohibition of storing combustible liquids, namely “combustible or toxic gases”, in addition to “combustible liquids whose flash point is below 21º C (…) or flash point between 21 and 55 ° C in quantities exceeding 10 liters” and “combustible liquids with flash point greater than 55 ° C in quantities exceeding 20 liters”.

The storage of liquids and combustible gases, in violation of the requirements determined for their location or permitted quantities, may lead to violators of fines ranging from 275 euros to 2,750 euros for individuals or up to 27,500 euros

Already the Protection and Relief Association also warned today about the unsafe transportation of the jerry cans with fuel, considering that the authorities are failing the inspection.

“[Transportation] also puts people at risk and road safety at stake, as in the event of an accident the possibility of these fuel containers burning in the event of a fire increases,” he told Lusa João Paulo Saraiva , President of APROSOC – Protection and Relief Association.

Despite realizing that people need fuels “and do what they can to maintain the normality of their daily lives,” João Paulo Saraiva points a finger at the authorities he criticizes for not monitoring how fuels are being transported.

João Paulo Saraiva considers it important that, besides the citizens being alerted to the fines to which they may be subjected by the authorities, it would also be advisable to explain “that the fuel transportation limit is also related to their safety and not to say only that another 10 liters or 60 liters are subject to this and that. ”

According to the official, the containers should be transported fixedly, with the opening valve facing upwards, “in order to ensure that in case of an accident they are not dislodged”.

Bomb Hoax forces temporary closure Mar Shopping Algarve

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

A bomb hoax forced the closure of the Mar Shopping mall in Loulé for about two hours, between 1 pm and about 3 pm today, Thursday. The GNR confirmed the occurrence and that the author of the threat, which turned out to be false, has already been identified.

An on-site witness told our newspaper that it all started around 1 pm and ended around 3 pm. During this period, the doors of the shopping complex were closed and no one could enter Mar Shopping. In some stores, at least employees could not leave. In the end, “a man was caught.” “Everything was crazy and people were all very scared,” said the same source, a commercial space client, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Despite the apparatuses in some places, many of the mall’s customers and shoppers didn’t even realize that something was going on, as another reader told our newspaper.

“The individual who will have promoted this bomb threat has already been properly identified. Now, for us, the normal procedures in this kind of situation are proceeding, which are all planned. The original situation is already properly controlled, ”he said.

As for the non-evacuation of the complex, the GNR spokesman did not confirm this situation, nor did he deny it, sending any clarification on this matter to those responsible for the shopping centre.

‘GNR, as a security force in the face of such a situation, must take a number of steps. But let us not forget that an infrastructure of this size has a private security force and its own protocols, which it must activate in case of fire or when there is a bomb threat. Therefore, this question has to be asked to the head of security of Mar Shopping », said.

“The priority, both for GNR and commercial infrastructure, was to safeguard people’s lives and safety and that has happened. We made the normal steps in these types of situations, which are filed », assured the spokesman of GNR..

Meanwhile, the management of Mar Shopping, issued a statement that ‘has been alerted to a possible security risk. In this sense, the security protocol was immediately activated for these situations, which includes contact with the authorities, who have come to the scene to certify the veracity of the threat.

“For MAR Shopping, the most important thing is the safety of those who visit us and those who work here, so we have complied with all the authorities’ recommendations,” adds the administration of the Shopping Center.

“Normality is now restored and there is no reason for any further action,” the statement said.