Lisbon, 27 Aug 2019 (Lusa) – A man has been arrested and another accused, both Chinese, on suspicion of trafficking, kidnapping and coercion in an operation that took place in June in the Cascais area, the Judiciary Police said today.

According to PJ, the arrests took place following a request by the National Police of Taiwan to cooperate in a case where several Taiwanese citizens were victims of trafficking being held in Portugal under duress and under slavery”.

The National Counter Terrorism Unit (UNCT) located a detached house in the Cascais area where it found and rescued the 17 citizens being deprived of their freedom, documents and unable to maintain contact with the outside.

“At the time of the police action, the two defendants were also found there. It was found on the spot that citizens were coerced into contacts via the Internet, in a scam scheme set up by the detained defendant, with citizens from mainland China, who were extorted high sums under threat of police and judicial persecution in that country ”, explains the PJ

During the operation, several dozen telephone and telecommunications equipment, computer equipment, documents and money were seized.

A man was present at the court interrogation, and was presented as a coercive measure to the police three times a week.

“Given the continuing investigations by the Taiwanese authorities into the prosecution of the principal perpetrators of this illegal activity, the judicial police action has not until now been publicly disclosed,” it said.

The PJ further states that, “Currently several people have been detained and more than a dozen others identified in this criminal scheme in that country.”

In the note, the PJ recalls that this was the first time in Europe that police authorities were able to dismantle such an organized group in full swing.