The Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) has detained, today, in Lisboa, two of the main members of an international criminal organisation indicted for association in assisting unlawful immigration, assisting unlawful immigration and falsification of documents, acting in Brazil and Europe, and to which the more serious cautionary measure of provisional custody has been applied, after judicial interrogation.
Under the operation “Alma Lusa", a criminal organisation offering forged documentation and the whole logistics for fraudulent obtaining citizenship of countries from Europe, in particular Portugal, which, in exchange of huge amounts of money (around twenty thousand Euros), they promised the fraudulent issuance of authentic Portuguese documentation to Brazilian citizens who did not comply with the conditions provided in the law, has been dismantled. This criminal scam has resulted in an exponential increase of applications for the Portuguese nationality.
The suspects, mostly representing their “clients" as prosecutors in Portugal, were attaining within some registries in Brazil false Brazilian documentation, in particular certificates extracted from a filed birth certificate which biographical data were abusively altered, allowing to determine, within the Portuguese Civil Registration Offices, that certain individuals would gather the conditions legally provided for the original Portuguese nationality.
The detainees, aged between 45 and 47 years old, are already acquainted to the European and Brazilian authorities by their criminal background, as they have even enjoyed from this criminal scam.
Based on this false registry, the “clients" at issue, already with the Portuguese nationality illegally granted for false family relationship, would apply for the issue of the Portuguese citizen's card and electronic passport, ensuring every benefit of being holders of Portuguese documents. For such, this criminal network had the help of a lawyer, made a defendant, a key part of this fraudulent scam.
The steps for the execution of search warrants have been carried out in two phases: the first one within Great Lisbon, between 07 to 12 November, and the second phase in the north of Portugal, resulting in today, in which several proof of the crimes committed have been apprehended, with a note to the high number of proceedings based on false certificates allowing the Portuguese nationality to Brazilian citizens, as well as IT equipment and other material related to the suspects with a criminal activity.
In addition to the judges of the Public Prosecution of Lisboa and Porto, this operation has involved representatives of the Bar Association and about 50 SEF inspectors.
The investigation continues, now, under the coordination of the Central Investigation on Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP), joined by SEF, and with the cooperation, through institutional networks of international police cooperation, of Interpol, the Brazilian Federal Police, the Canadian, Mexican, French authorities and SIRENE National Bureau.