Proposed National Strategy to Combat Corruption 2020-2024

The Council of Ministers approved, for public discussion, the National Strategy to Combat Corruption 2020-2024. The Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, presented her at a press conference in Lisbon.

The Strategy “starts from the fact that prevention is the key to the system, because it has a social and cultural dimension that cannot be solved by repressive systems”, he said, adding that “the response times of justice systems are very long” in cases of corruption and «this ends up generating in people the idea of ​​the inefficiency of the system».

The Strategy, in addition to recognizing the need to adjust some aspects of the repressive system, considers it essential to strengthen and enhance the mechanisms for the prevention and detection of crimes of corruption and related crimes.

This Strategy, which resulted from the reflection of the working group set up for this purpose, identifies 7 priorities to reduce the phenomenon of corruption in Portugal:

  • improve knowledge, training and institutional practices in matters of transparency and integrity;
  • prevent and detect corruption risks in the public sector
  • commit the private sector to preventing, detecting and suppressing corruption
  • strengthen the link between public and private institutions
  • ensure a more effective and uniform application of the legal mechanisms in the area of ​​repression of corruption, improve the response time of the judicial system and ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of the punishment
  • periodically produce and disseminate reliable information on the phenomenon of corruption; and
  • Cooperate at the international level in the fight against corruption.


 Abandoned warehouse in Glória do Ribatejo was a cannabis greenhouse

An abandoned warehouse in Glória do Ribatejo, in the municipality of Salvaterra de Magos, served as a greenhouse for cannabis plantation. The man responsible for it, a 48-year-old man, was detained on Tuesday, August 25, by the Criminal Investigation Nucleus (NIC) of the National Republican Guard (GNR) of Coruche.

According to a GNR source, the man was detained caught in the act, inside the warehouse when dealing with plants, and after the arresting officer carried out a search of the suspect’s home.

The action resulted in the seizure of eight adult cannabis plants. The detainee, who already had a criminal record, was charged and the evidence was handed to the Benavente Judicial Court, where he will be held responsible for the crime of cultivating narcotics.

Fines for vehicle registration infractions risen since January

There was an increase in administrative offenses due to vehicle registration violations in the first six months of the year, in regards to the new licence plates for cars

A total of 2,136 drivers were fined until June, that is, 248 more offenses compared to the same period last year, and most of the fines were registered in the districts of Lisbon, Porto and Setúbal.

PSP cannot find a concrete reason for this increase. Adding also that there is no way to know if the fines have increased due to more inspections or greater circulation of cars.

They also clarify that the most common type of offense is failure to comply with the terms of the law, which defines the size of the numbers and letters and the space between them on the plates themselves.

This increase in infractions coincided with the entry into force of the new registration model, however, it is not mandatory to change the registration plate, as explained by DECO.

Five million contraband cigarettes seized in Vila do Conde

GNR seized more than five million contraband cigarettes on Friday in Vila do Conde. The 260,000 packs of tobacco were found in a truck on the A28.

The 50-year-old driver did not have any documents for the marketing of those products.

The value of the seized tobacco is more than one million euros and if it had been sold to the public, the state would have been injured by around 900 thousand euros.

One of the biggest online piracy groups in the world taken down

On 25 August, an alleged criminal network of copyright infringing hackers, mainly responsible for pirating movies and hosting illegal digital content worldwide was dismantled in a coordinated action between US authorities and their counterparts in 18 countries around the world, with Europol and Eurojust support. Sixty servers were taken down in North America, Europe and Asia and several of the main suspects were arrested.

The Sparks Group obtained DVDs and Blu-ray discs of unreleased content and compromised the copyright protections on the discs to reproduce and upload the content publically to online servers. It is believed that the piracy group, under investigation since September 2016, had successfully reproduced and disseminated hundreds of movies and TV programmes prior to their retail release date, including nearly every movie released by major production studios in the US. The Sparks Group has caused tens of millions of US dollars in losses to film production studios, mainly to the US movie, television, and supporting industries, from the copyright infringement.

To get ahead, members of the Sparks Group made several material misrepresentations and omissions to wholesale distributors. On many occasions, they claimed to be DVD and Blu-ray discs retailers and promised not to sell the content prior to the retail release date. Once they received the products, the members of the group used special software to crack the copyright protections to then reproduce and encode the content in high definition. The content was then disseminated and reproduced on streaming platforms, peer-to-peer and torrent networks from their platforms.

The servers were located around the world in Canada, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These were taken down in yesterday’s action and in the days preceding it, with the help of national authorities from these countries. Other measures were also taken in Italy, Romania and Canada. One of the members of the alleged criminal network was arrested over the weekend in Cyprus and another suspect was arrested yesterday in the US.

Daughter lives with father’s corpse to withdraw his pension

Amália Mendonça, 63, was arrested, considered unstable, and dangerous and suffering from chronic paranoid schizophrenic psychosis.

The woman who lived six months with her father’s corpse at home, in Caldas da Rainha,  withdraw his 1176 euros / month pension, was arrested  by the PSP in a hospital in Lisbon and was taken to the prison hospital in Caxias to begin serving the 8 years of psychiatric internment to which she is sentenced, a source reported.

Her father, Jorge Mendonça, 87, died of natural causes. The daughter never said anything to the family. She lay her fathers covered body on the kitchen floor, covered him with coffee and chocolate powder to cover up the smell of decay.

She lived for 6 months, off her dead fathers’ pension, a former CTT employee and was only discovered when a granddaughter was concerned after not hearing from her grandfather for months and alerted the family.

The former kindergarten teacher was tried in the Court of Leiria and sentenced in March of this year to 8 years of internment for the crimes of desecration of a corpse and tax fraud.

PSP officers saves child on the 25 of Abril Bridge

An officer of the Police Division of the Metropolitan Command of Lisbon of the PSP saved a three-year-old child, in respiratory arrest, on the 25 de Abril Bridge.

PSP source revealed to Notícias ao Minuto that this happened at 7:40 pm on Sunday, August 30, when a light passenger vehicle, which was driving from the South Bank to Lisbon, stopped next to one of the agents assigned that day to the operation summer safety 2020.

Inside the vehicle were a couple and their son, allegedly, “choking, unconscious, unable to breathe and his face was already turning purple”.

The parents, desperate, asked the police for help, who, after checking if the child had anything obstructing the airways and confirming that he did not, performed the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Although the first attempt failed to rectify the situation, the agent managed to save the child by performing the procedure once again. The child regained consciousness and began to breathe again to the relief of his parents and all those present.

PSP dismantles group that stole car components in Lisbon

The Public Security Police (PSP) dismantled a group that, since 2019, “stole vehicle components” in Lisbon, having detained two men who were in preventive detention, a source reported on the 27th August.

Since the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML), there has been an increase in the number of thefts of vehicle parts and components, and this group is strongly suspected of having the highest involvement, “the police force said in a statement.

According to the report, the alleged group stole several parts, mostly wheel rims, “which were used to put in their own vehicles that had been the involved in accidents”.

In addition, PSP hypothesized that parts were placed in other vehicles “for the purpose of resale in the automotive market”

According to the police force, the group in question also “started stealing from homes, as well as ongoing works, with the aim of obtaining construction materials for their own use”.

In view of these crimes and after an investigation, the PSP detained two men aged 20 and 36, and carried out seven search warrants, which resulted in the seizure of seven vehicles, four tablets, two kitchen robots, construction materials various and “several vehicle parts”.

“Following these arrests, steps were taken to deliver the seized goods back to their rightful owners, and with the material and goods seized from the defendants, they deduced that the men had been involved in a considerable number of thefts over a period of time”, the PSP informed.

Covid-19: GNR identifies dozens of young people in Viana do Castelo

Since at least the 20th of August, groups of young people have come together every morning to drink and dance in the parking lots of different beaches and leisure areas.

GNR identified, in eight days, dozens of young people who participated in gatherings on the beaches of Caminha and Viana do Castelo, in violation of the rules defined to combat the covid-19, a source from that police force told Lusa today.

Contacted by the agency Lusa, source of the Territorial Command of the GNR of Viana do Castelo, said that in the early hours of the 27th August “between 20 to 30 young people, the vast majority aged 15/16 years” were identified, in “two groups that were located in Moledo and in the Santo Antão viewpoint, in the municipality of Caminha “, for participating in gatherings with more than 20 people and were not wearing masks.

According to that source, “the vast majority of young people identified are from the district of Viana do Castelo, but there are also people from Braga, Porto and other parts of the country who are in the region on holiday”.

Questioned by Lusa, that GNR source reported that the meetings, scheduled for relatively isolated locations, were arranged via WhatsApp.

“The route is not always the same and, when we demobilize them from one location, they move to the next meeting point. As a rule, young people get together after the closing of bars and cafes, with gatherings ending around 6:00 am, in Caminha, where we have detected some concentration near a pastry shop “, it was reported

That source said that at Arda beach, in Afife, in the municipality of Viana do Castelo, where in the last week dozens of young people were identified who were participating in a gathering of about 200 to 300 people, several infrastructures to support the beach were vandalized as well as structures in the car park.