Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras




  • 12 May 2021 | SEF releases awareness campaign for potential victims of trafficking in human beings in São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde

    ​“DO NOT LET A DELUSION TAKE YOU TO EXPLOITATION" is the motto of an awareness campaign addressed to potential victims of trafficking in human beings released, today, by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), in partnership with the Migration and Borders Service of São Tomé and Príncipe, under the project RIMM (Reinforcement of Integrated Migration Management).

    This campaign has the purpose to raise awareness of potential victims of trafficking in human beings for the dangers of illegal immigration, with origin in three countries of the Portuguese-speaking Africa: São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde.

    In an appeal to the regular channels for migration, the purpose of this project is to alert, in the countries of origin, for the risks associated to illegal and unprotected immigration, by the broadcast of key messages by the characters Uri, Alice, Edson, Naim, Katya and Anna, giving voice to the several ways of violence on victims, such as sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, domestic servitude and physical and psychological violence.

    The material used for the campaign, audiovisual (TV and radio) and written, is available in the Portuguese language and in the Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau Creole, and will be broadcasted in international and local channels, ensuring a wider reach and understanding of the main message of this project.

    It is an initiative under project RIMM, financed by support funds to development of the European Commission and by the Portuguese State budget.

    RIMM project has the purpose to contribute for the regulation of migration flows between the European Union and third countries and beneficiaries (São Tomé and Príncipe as partner and Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau as beneficiaries), and the prevention of trafficking in human beings for labour, sexual exploitation purposes, in particular the minors.

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  • 29 April 2021 | SEF promotes Conference on « Digital transformation on Migrations » under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    ​The digital transformation on behalf of the management of migrations is the theme of the Conference promoted by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), as the national contact point of the European Migration Network (EMN). This meeting is being held tomorrow, in digital form, from SEF Head Office, gathering European and national experts in the area of migration, as well as experts in digital transformation and artificial intelligence technologies (AI) to make a reflexion on the risks and opportunities of a bigger scan of the migration processes and the ongoing technologies for the future. The conference is transmitted online at the following link:

    The opening session includes the Minister for the Interior (MAI), Eduardo Cabrita, the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johnansson, the Director-General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino and the Secretary-General of OECD, Angel Gurría.

    The first panel, chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General for International Relations and the Management of European Funds of MAI’s Secretary-General, Ricardo Carrilho, will explore the digital transformation of processes within the management of migration and the potential to create of data systems interoperable at the national level and at the level of the European Union (EU). SEF’s Deputy National Director, José Barão, the Adviser of the Board of the Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA), André Vasconcelos, and the Strategic Data Adviser and the AI of the Immigration and Naturalisation Services of the Ministry of Justice and Security of The Netherlands, Remko van der Burght, will debate different opportunities to improve management of migrations through digital technologies.

    In a second panel, chaired by the Law Associate Professor, at Exeter University, in the United Kingdom, Ana Beduschi, representatives of the Portuguese Mint (INCM), Bruno Pereira and Carlos Gonçalves, the Chief of the Migration Sector (DG Home) and the Coordinator of DG for Artificial Intelligence of the European Commission, Zsuzsanna Felkai-Janseen, elements of the Federal Bureau for Migration and Refugees in Germany, Kausik Munsi and Lukas Tajak, and the Director of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre of Global Migration (GMDAC), Frank Laczko, and the Coordinator for Data Innovation and Institutional Capacity of this Centre, Marzia Rango will discuss the potential of the AI in offering innovative solutions for the processes of management of migration.

    Within the third panel, the lecturers will approach the risks and its mitigation in the management of migration digital processes. Within this panel, chaired by the Associate Director of the Refugee Law Laboratory of University of York, Petra Molnar, the Coordinator of SEF’s Information Systems Office, Bruno Fragoso, the Head of the Knowledge Centre on Asylum of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Ward Lutin, and the representative of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Julia Behrens.

    Within the fourth panel, chaired by the Head of Sector for the Coordination of Agencies and Networks and Chairman of REM, Magnus Ovilius, a selection of key practices implemented within the EU will be presented, and an analysis of the lessons learned from the practices with origin outside the EU will be carried out. This last session will have the participation of the point of contact of REM in Ireland, Anne Sheridan, and the point of contact of REM in Luxembourg, Adolfo Sommarribas, the Head of Department of International Migration, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs within OCDE, Jean-Christophe Dumont, and the Head of Department for Foreign Nationals and Migration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Security of Chile and President of the Working Group within OCDE, Alvaro Bellolio Avaria.

    The closing session of the conference will be held by SEF National Director, Lieutenant General Luis Botelho Miguel.

    It should be reminded that the main purpose of the REM is to produce knowledge, by the carrying out of studies and other instruments of data collecting and treatment within the several areas in migration, as a support to the policy decision under the European Union, with regard to the European Union Directives, and within each Member State.

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  • 23 April 2021 | SEF investigation: heavy sentences for criminal conspiracy in marriages of convenience

    ​The court of Loures has convicted, yesterday, eight defendants for criminal conspiracy, marriages of convenience and forgery of administrative documents, in result of an investigation held by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), in January 2019, named operação “Amouda".

    According to the decision, the criminal group, led by a foreign national of Hindustani origin, now convicted to nine years of imprisonment, has been dedicating, for several years, to the organisation of marriages of convenience between illegally staying foreign nationals and Portuguese nationals, with the sole purpose to get the legalisation in Portugal, Belgium and Germany, in exchange of huge amounts of money of about 12 thousand euros per person.

    The women attracted to marriages of convenience were living under an economic and socially vulnerable situation, and were lured with the promise of between EUR 1.500 and EUR 5.000 to marry men of Hindustani origin, which they did not knew. The couples would then travel to Belgium where the Hindustani nationals would try and get their legalisation by means of the marriage with an EU citizen, allowing the husbands to stay in the European Union, obtain residence permits and then illegal profits with social benefits.

    In addition to the foreign national leadership, the criminal conspiracy comprised other foreign nationals, of Hindustani origin as well, and Portuguese nationals, including one lawyer with office in Odivelas who, as such, had the main mission to authenticate false documents necessary for the marriages.

    Under this investigation, SEF has cooperated with the German police in carrying out home searches in Germany, in June 2019. The team of four SEF inspectors and one member from Europol have accompanied the local authorities in every proceeding. These searches have been requested by the Portuguese authorities, under the joint investigation held with the Belgian police and in cooperation with the German police.

    This operation resulted in the seizure of documentation supporting the activity of this network, in particular false marriage certificates, passports of Portuguese nationals, supporting proof of travel payments and money transfer receipts between the members of the network, as well as several equipment such as smartphones and laptops.

    The searches have allowed to establish liaisons between the investigation held by SEF and other ongoing investigations in Germany.


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