The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service [SEF]carried out today (09/09/2014) operation “Geo” for the execution of judicial search warrants for the execution of a letter rogatory, with a view to dismantle a criminal association dealing in document forgery and smuggling of migrants, operating in a number of EU Member States.
Five house searches were carried out in Loures, Sesimbra, Montijo, Azambuja and Aveiro, coordinated by the Attorney-General of the Republic, through DCIAP (Central Department for Investigation and Penal Action). This operation resulted in the detention of a non-national individual who identified himself with false documents and the identification of five suspects who have been indicted. Various false identification documents were seized, as well as a number of bank transfers slips and the mobile phones and tablets used for perpetrating the criminal activities.
A court case designated “Geo” is going through the Court of Munich, the same court that issued the letter rogatory and conducts an investigation on an eastern European group of individuals engaged in forging documents and exporting them to criminal associations settled in various European countries.
The identification of the targets in Portugal resulted from intense cooperation between SEF and the German Police, following operation “Vory” on 06/06/2013, where a criminal association of foreign individuals, who, resorted to false documents and engaged in house burglary, was uncovered and is currently on trial.
In result of intelligence exchange, it was feasible to locate 5 house dwellings in Portugal where the receivers and suppliers of false documents resided. These documents enabled the members of the gang impersonating European Union citizens and move freely within the Schengen Area.
Operation “Geo” was conducted simultaneously in several European Countries where criminal groups were supplied with false documents. In addition to Portugal, searches were carried out in Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Greece.
This operation was supported by Europol and involved 30 officers of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service.