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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.

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Nearly 10,000 crimes, 17 arrests and 18,690 administrative offenses issued for abandonment and mistreatment of animals in five years


Lisbon, Jan 31, 2023 (Lusa) – The police have arrested 17 people for abandoning or mistreating pets and have registered almost 10,000 crimes in the last five years, together with 18,690 administrative offences issues reveals data sent to Lusa by the PSP and GNR.

The 17 arrests were made, between 2018 and 2022, by the Public Security Police, which arrested 15 people for mistreatment and two for abandoning pets.

The year with the most arrests for mistreatment of companion animals was 2021, when there were six, followed by 2019 and 2022, with four each, and in 2018 one person was arrested.

The PSP indicates that the arrests for abandoning animals were made in 2019 and 2020, with one in each year.

Data sent to the Lusa agency indicate that the PSP and the National Republican Guard recorded 9,732 crimes for abandonment or mistreatment of animals between 2018 and 2022.

The PSP also reports that, in five years, it recorded 1,615 crimes of animal abandonment and 2,278 for situations of mistreatment, in a total of 4,402.

While the GNR accounted for 5,330 crimes, 3,385 of which were for mistreatment of animals and 1,945 for abandonment, with this type of crime recorded in 2022 the highest value in the last five years.

The GNR recorded 1,195 crimes for abandonment and mistreatment of pets last year, 1,008 in 2021, 1,030 in 2020, 1,089 in 2019, and 1,008 in 2018.

The PSP, on the other hand, registered a decrease in 2020 and 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic, having increased again in 2022. Last year, the PSP counted 865 crimes, in 2021 there were 833, in 2020 there were 801, in 2019 there were 952 and in 2018 there were 951.

The GNR also reports that it raised 18,690 administrative offenses for this offense in the last five years, with the highest number in 2018 (5,393), followed by 2019 (5,107), 2022 (3,357), 2020 (2,587) and 2021 (2,246).

This security force refers that the crimes of mistreatment are provided for in the Penal Code and the facts are communicated to the Public Ministry and the offenders identified.

According to the GNR, dogs are the animals that register the highest incidence of abuse and abandonment and generally the collected animals are delivered to the official collection centers (CRO) under municipal or intermunicipal management, and are also delivered, on certain occasions, to other associations.

The GNR also receives complaints, which can be made through the SOS Ambiente e Território line 808 200 520, (Serviços/SOS Ambiente) or by email , having registered 20,823 complaints between 2018 and 2022 , after increasing every year.

The PSP also has an Animal Defence Line ( ) to receive complaints, having registered 12,175 complaints in the last five years, in a growing trend. This line received 2,149 complaints in 2018, 2,278 in 2019, 2,362 in 2020, 2,462 in 2021 and 2,924 last year.

The PSP states that these complaints include not only criminal situations of abandonment and mistreatment, but all occurrences related to the welfare of the animal and suspicious situations that subsequently require inspection and investigation by the police.

The most common complaints that reach the PSP through this line are complaints from neighbours about the dogs that are barking on the balcony, the patio that is dirty and has an unpleasant odour, the owners who are absent without leaving water or food for the animals, walking the dog without a leash and the aggressiveness of animals.

Mistreatment of companion animals has been a crime since 2014 and several people have already been convicted in the first instance.

However, the Constitutional Court has already annulled these convictions on the grounds that they lack constitutional coverage.

Recently, the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Constitutional Court asked for the declaration of unconstitutionality of the norm that criminalizes with a fine or imprisonment anyone who, without legitimate reason, kills or mistreats pets.










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GOOD WORK FROM THE SPMS (Shared Services of the Ministry of Health) USING SMS for VACCINATION SCHEDULING

More than 78 million messages (SMS), exclusively scheduling for vaccination of users eligible for vaccination against covid-19, have been sent in the last two years, the Ministry of Health indicated this Sunday.

In a statement, the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS) recall that the first call for the covid-19 vaccine, through messages (SMS) from number 2424, was sent on January 29, 2021.

“In these two years, more than 78 million SMS, exclusively for scheduling, were sent to users eligible for vaccination at each stage of the process,” say SPMS, stressing that the SMS call represented “a great technological advance”.

In the most critical period of the pandemic, the scheduling functionality was being progressively made available to the health units of the country, making the SMS number 2424 the preferred form of call for vaccination.

“For scheduling, the contacts used are those contained in the National Register of Users (RNU) of the National Health Service, which provides centralized information to all information systems,” the SPMS also explained.

According to the SPMS, in addition to scheduling, other messages related to the covid-19 vaccination process have been sent over the last two years, translating into about 111 million SMS.

“Currently, it is possible to carry out the self-scheduling of the vaccine through the SNS 24 Portal, giving the possibility of choosing the most convenient day and place,” explains the SPMS.

The experience of vaccination – emphasizes the SPMS – showed how “a simple and democratic system, such as SMS, can be highly effective in convening users”.

For this same reason, this system has meanwhile been extended to the call for other acts, such as screenings, allowing greater speed in contact with the population, the entity concludes.

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The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) reported on Saturday that its ‘site’ was the target of a cyberattack that prevented access to data and services, but at 11:00 p.m. “it was functional”.

“The Directorate-General for Health informs that its official website – – was the target of a cyberattack that prevented access to the data and services usually available,” reads a note from the DGS.

In the same note, sent Saturday night, the DGS indicated that the ‘site’ was already operational.

The Directorate-General for Health also said that it “contacted the National Cybersecurity Center, which is evaluating and monitoring the situation, in order to take measures to mitigate the impact of this attack”.

This information, adds the DGS, “will be updated whenever relevant”.

The Expresso newspaper also reported on Saturday that the Internet addresses of the DGS and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon have been “unoperational since, at least, early Saturday afternoon, following an attack by a group of Russian cyberactivists”.

“In the counter and cyberespionage circuit there were indications that the Killnet group, which is usually pointed out as an operational and propagandistic arm of the Russian government in the digital underworld, launched a challenge to a cyberattack of network congestion against medical institutions in several countries that have aligned with the Ukrainian position – including Portugal,” the newspaper wrote.

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Police arrest three men for house thefts in Eastern Algarve

As a result of a joint operation, the GNR and PSP have arrested three men for thefts in residences in the eastern Algarve.

The men, aged 27, 38 and 42, had committed thefts in homes in the region, in an organized manner, taking advantage of the owners being out during the evening.

“During an investigation into qualified thefts inside homes, which began in January 2022 by the Criminal Investigation Brigade of the PSP in Tavira, a joint police operation was carried out aimed at dismantling a group of individuals who acted as an organised crime group with the objective of carrying out thefts in residences, in the eastern Algarve area, in houses located in the bordering areas of urban agglomerations, taking advantage of the temporary absence of the owners at the end of the day and the beginning of the night”, explain the GNR and PSP in a statement.

“Since the PSP and the GNR were investigating several cases of theft in which there were strong indications that they had been carried out by the same group, joint investigations were launched that allowed the suspects to be arrested after having committed the theft to a house in the Quarteira area”, added the security forces.

Following the action, four searches were carried out, two at home and two in vehicles in the municipality of Faro and in the city of Olhão, which made it possible to recover various stolen material, namely large sums of money, pieces of gold and other precious metals, as well as various objects recovered from the interior of the criminals homes.


Taking into account the high volume of material seized, namely watches and pieces of jewellery (rings, earrings, medals, necklaces, among others) in gold and other metals and precious stones, the authorities ask “all citizens with residences in the Algarve who have been the target of house theft (with similar items stolen) and WHO DID NOT MAKE A CRIME COMPLAINT AT THE TIME, to go to the PSP in Faro (see picture) Rua da Policia da Seguranca Publica 32, 8000-408 Faro to report the crime, with the aim to recover stolen objects that are now seized”.

If not sure/further details call PSP Command Faro– 289 899 899.

Source; GNR/PSP Press release


Excellent work and collaboration between the GNR and PSP.

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Judicial Police dismantle operations of the HIVE Ransomware group.

The National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime (UNC3T) participated in the operation carried out against the HIVE ransomware group, which culminated today in the dismantling of the operations of this criminal group.

The investigations, which lasted several months, were carried out by various international partners, with the PJ/UNC3T hosting one of the operational work sessions that lasted a week, which was attended by more than 30 police officers from 13 countries (Germany, Canada, Spain, United States of America, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania and Sweden) involved in the operation.

The group responsible for the HIVE ransomware was one of the most relevant cybercriminal groups worldwide, being suspected of having attacked Portuguese entities as diverse as hospital units, laboratory analysis companies, municipalities, transport/aviation companies, hotel units, technology companies, among others.

This group, after encrypting the victims’ data, demanded a ransom so that the data and information would not be published on the HIVE group’s website, hosted on the Dark Web.

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Storm #Efrain front will arrive this evening (10th December 2022), bringing lots of rain, wind, turbulence and snow.

The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) has therefore raised today orange and yellow rain warnings due to heavy rain forecast starting later this evening.

On its official page, IPMA mentions that these four mainland districts will be under orange warning between 00:00 and 03:00 on Sunday, while in the district of Portalegre it will be active between 03:00 and 06:00, due to the forecast of heavy and persistent rain.

This will be preceded by yellow warnings start at 2100 hrs

Warnings are also in place for other districts of Mainland Portugal under yellow warning due to the forecast of snowfall, persistent rain, strong winds, and also rough seas

WIND YELLOW WARNING: 6 districts midnight tonight to 0600 hrs 11th Dec. Strong wind, with gusts up to 90 km/h.

RAIN ORANGE AND YELLOW WARNINGS: 5 districts orange and yellow – 4 districts yellow. Rain sometimes heavy and persistent. (Timings and district see chart)Criteria: Yellow 30-40 mms in 6 hours and Orange 41-60 mms 6 hours

SNOW YELLOW WARNING: Seven Districts Snowfall above 1000 meters, with accumulation above 1200 meters, which may be 5 cm. Probable Impacts: Disturbance caused by snowfall with accumulation and possible ice formation (e.g. restricted access or closed roads, damage to structures or trees.) (Timings and districts see chart)ROUGH SEAS WARNING: Lisbon and Setubal 0300 to 0900 hrs 11th Dec Southwest waves with 4 meters.MONITOR WARNS CLOSELY IN CASE OF CHANGES:

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Instagram Fined 405 million Euros for breach of privacy of minors


This is the toughest decision imposed by the Irish Data Protection Commission, which acts on behalf of the European Union.

The social network Instagram has been fined 405 million euros for breaching the processing of data on minors, announced this Monday the Irish regulator, which acts on behalf of the European Union (EU).

“We adopted our decision last Friday and it includes a fine of €405 million. The details will be published next week,” a representative of the Irish Data Protection Commission told AFP. (DPC).

It is the toughest decision imposed by that authority since 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) gave more power to regulators to protect consumers against the dominance of Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter.

The DPC oversees on behalf of the EU Meta, which owns Instagram, as it has its regional headquarters in Ireland.

The regulator opened an investigation at the end of 2020, to determine whether the social network has put in place the necessary security to protect user data, especially in minors – to obtain an account you must be at least 13 years old.

The DPC expressed concern that users under the age of 18 could easily switch to a professional account. This type of account requires users to make their contact details public, making them visible to everyone on Instagram.

The regulator also criticized Instagram, saying that content on minors’ accounts was open by default at certain times for all users and not restricted to just approved subscribers.

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Monitoring the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 Report 25.


The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) release report No. 25 dated 31st August 2022 on monitoring the epidemiological situation of COVID-19. The document includes several indicators, namely the seven-day incidence and the transmissibility index (R(t)), nationally and by health region, among others.

High transmission with a stable trend Severity and impact with a stable trend The COVID-19 epidemic maintained a high incidence, with a possible inversion of the decreasing trend presented in previous weeks. The number of COVID-19 hospitalisation and the specific mortality show a stable trend. Surveillance of the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 should be maintained, and it is recommended to maintain the individual protection measures and booster vaccination, as well as a frequent communication of these measures to the population.

  • The cumulative number of new SARS-CoV-2 infection / COVID-19 cases per 100 000 inhabitants over the last 7 days was 179 cases, reflecting a national stable trend. Most of the health regions present an inversion of the downward trend seen on the last weeks.
  • The effective reproduction number (R(t)) was above 1 at national level and in most regions, indicating an increasing trend of new cases.
  • The number of COVID-19 cases admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU) in mainland Portugal showed a decreasing trend, corresponding to 14.1% (15.3% in the previous analysis period) of the defined critical value of 255 occupied beds.
  • The ratio between the number of hospitalized cases and notified infections was 0.31, presenting an increasing trend.
  • The BA.5 lineage of Omicron variant continues to be clearly dominant in Portugal, with an estimated relative frequency of 94% on week 33 (15/08/2022 to 21/08/2022). This lineage has shown an enhanced transmissibility, which is likely mediated by additional mutations associated with human cell binding and/or immune evasion.
  • The COVID-19 specific mortality (8.1 deaths per 1 000 000 inhabitants over the last 14 days) has stabilized. All-cause mortality is within the expected range for the time of year, which indicates the end of the period of excess mortality that was taking place.
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Only in the regions of Cantabria and Asturias (northern Spain) there was no declaration of “areas severely affected by a civil protection emergency”, commonly known as “disaster zones”, said the Minister Spokesperson for the Government, Isabel Rodríguez.

In the 15 regions affected by the fires, there have been 120 fires since June, some of them considered “big fires”, those that burn more than 500 hectares, which forced the temporary displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, said Minister Isabel Rodríguez.

The minister said that this year’s fires, due to their intensity and size, are “different fires”, the result of climate change and the high temperatures that have been recorded since June. Fires have also burned in 2022 more than the total for the previous five years, according to Spanish government data updated as of August 14.

Unfortunately, another confirmation of the previously announced trend across Europe.