Safe Communities Presentation at the 7th National Meeting of Resilent Cities and Towns

This meeting held on 12th and 13th January in Odemira, is an annual meeting that brings together technicians and officials of public entities that manage the territories in the field of security and civil protection and climate change adaptation, as well as researchers from the academic environment. Those attending on this occasion were from as far away as Porto, Vila Real, Castro Marim and Funchal, Madeira.

The opening session was attended by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Patricia Gaspar, and the President of the Municipal Council of Odemira, Hélder Guerreiro. Also attended by the National Director of Risk Prevention and Management, Carlos Mendes, and the Regional Commander Civil Protection of the Alentejo, Jose Guilherme.

Topics such as Resilient Cities, the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, current and future impacts of Climate Change, the new paradigm of the fire risk management model in case of fires extremes, the challenge of accumulation of services between the Municipal Civil Protection Service and the Municipal Police, the implementation and dynamics of the Integrated Operations Centre, the implementation of the Local Platform for Reduction of Disaster Risk, Tsunami Warning Systems, Management of inclusiveness in the context of emergencies, planning and preparation of Population Support Concentration Areas or Local Civil Protection Units / Neighbourhoods.

David Thomas President of SCP presented the role of Safe Communities Portugal concerning matters of Civil Protection in Portugal, featuring its work in helping to create risk awareness and preparedness and the tracking of major incidents. He also covered the approach dealing with vulnerable communities and the main features of its website and growth and coverage of the SCP Facebook page, as well as the latest Northern and Centre Situation alerts page. The presentation was well received by the audience numbering around 120.

Odemira Municipality was recognized by the UN as a “Resilient City” in December 2021, joining the more than 40 municipalities from Portugal that are part of this network.

The Resilient Cities and Villages Network is geared towards local disaster risk reduction and city resilience, through a campaign launched by the United Nations in 2010.

Presentation here: 7º Encontro de Cidades e Vilas Resilientes – 2023 Presentation Odemira Safe Communities Portugal

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Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon – Criminal Marketing network dismantled nearly 2.5 million cigarettes seized.


Between February 28th and March 6th, the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF) dismantled a criminal network dedicated to the illicit distribution and sale of tobacco and seized more than 2,450,948 cigarettes in the districts of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon.

As part of an investigation into a criminal network dedicated to the illicit distribution and sale of tobacco, which had been going on for about a year and which had the collaboration of the Guardia Civil of Spain and the operational support of EUROPOL, the Guard carried out steps that made it possible to determine that the highly organized group is responsible for evading taxes, in terms of Special Consumption Tax (IEC) and VAT, which will exceed 3.5 million euros.

The Guard’s military found that cigarettes and other tobacco products, originating from marginal smuggling circuits with branches in Spain, were transported to national territory and temporarily stored in places, being later sold directly to consumers or distributed in commercial establishments and restaurants in the districts of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon.

The culmination of this investigation, which focused on the crimes of fraudulent introduction into qualified consumption, tax fraud, criminal association and counterfeiting, imitation and illegal use of trademarks, took place over the last week through the execution of 68 search warrants, 37 domicile and 31 non-domestic warrants, namely in vehicles, commercial establishments and catering and beverage establishments and warehouses.

Following the action, four suspects aged between 53 and 65 years, were arrested and the constitution of 12 defendants aged between 52 and 69 years.

The following seizures were made:

  • 2,450,948 cigarettes, corresponding to approximately 122,548 packs of cigarettes; 107,694 kilos of shredded tobacco; 92,300 tubes for filling cigarettes;
  • 45,115 euros in cash;
  • 25 mobile phones; Nine light vehicles; Two firearms; Various ammunition of different calibres; Diverse explosive material (detonating cord, gunpowder, detonators, explosive charges and other material used in pyrotechnic activity) and documentation with probative relevance to the investigation.

The detainees were present for the first judicial interrogation, at the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) in Lisbon, having been applied the coercive measures of obligation of biweekly presentations at the police station in the area of residence and prohibition of contacts with the targeted in the investigation, and one of the suspects was also banned from leaving the country.

During the investigation, which has been going on for about a year, a total of 6,520,522 cigarettes and 399 Kg of tobacco leaf and ground tobacco had already been seized in the national territory, and 3 men, aged between 55 and 64 years old, with 2 of them being applied, in November 2022, the coercive measure of pre-trial detention.

During the operation, 126 soldiers belonging to the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF), the Intervention Unit (UI) and the Territorial Commands of Porto, Braga and Vila Real were engaged, including dog units to detect tobacco and paper money.