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News

  • 17 January 2019 | SEF detects last suspect of a criminal group luring Portuguese women for marriages of convenience

    ​The Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) has detained, this morning, in Lisboa, the last suspect of an organised criminal group which has recruited, at least, 50 Portuguese women for marriages of convenience, a group indicted for the crimes of association to assisting unlawful immigration, illegal immigration, falsification or counterfeiting of documents, marriages of convenience and criminal association.

    Under the operation “Amouda", which began last Tuesday by SEF, in cooperation with Belgium authorities, three suspects have been detained. They were brought before the Court yesterday, and the provisional custody measure has been applied, at Lisboa Prison. In addition, an attorney has been made charged and a fifth suspect has been obliged to daily attendances at PSP of the area of residence. The woman detained today, canvasser and intended spouse, will be brought before the Court of Loures in order for the proper cautionary measures to be enforced.

    In this operation, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, eighteen house searches have been carried out, dozens of falsified documents have been found, several computer equipment have been apprehended (laptops, desktops and other mobile devices), huge amounts of money and drugs as well.

    The criminal group was involved in the facilitation of illegal immigration, through the organization of marriages of convenience, mainly between Portuguese nationals and Hindustani.

    The Portuguese women were recruited to marry unknown Hindustani men, and, in return, they would receive about five thousand euros. Afterwards, the couples were travelling to Belgium, where the Hindustani citizens tried to legalize their situation through marriage with a citizen of the Union, allowing the husbands to stay in the European Union, obtaining residence permits and, thereafter, unlawful profits with social benefits.

    SEF started this investigation on 2016, after the Belgium authorities having detected a suspicious increase in the number of marriage certificates issued in Portugal that would prove to be false.

    Due to the international nature of the crime, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been created which ended up with a Joint Action Day, carried out simultaneously in Brussels (Belgium), Lisboa and Algarve. To ease the direct operation, Belgium officers were in Portugal while a SEF team travelled to Belgium.

    Europol has supported the joint operation at the coordination centre created by Eurojust. Analysts from Europol were deployed as well to Belgium and Portugal for the cross-checking of information in real time and forensic analysis of mobile phones.

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  • 16 January 2019 | A criminal group celebrating marriages of convenience has been dismantled

    ​An organised criminal group, engaged in recruiting at least 50 Portuguese women for marriages of convenience, has been dismantled, today, by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) and by the Belgium authorities. Three suspects have been detained and an attorney has been charged.

    In this operation, which has ended today and had the support of Europol and Eurojust, eighteen house searches have been carried out, dozens of falsified documents have been found, several computer equipment have been apprehended (laptops, desktops and other mobile devices), and huge amounts of money and drugs as well.

    The criminal group has been involved in assisting of illegal immigration, through the organization of marriages of convenience, mainly between Portuguese nationals and Hindustani.

    Portuguese women were recruited to marry unknown Hindustani men, receiving about five thousand euros. Afterwards, the couples were travelling to Belgium, where the Hindustani citizens tried to legalize their situation through marriage with a citizen of the Union, allowing the husbands to stay in the European Union, obtaining residence permits and, thereafter, unlawful profits with social benefits.

    SEF started this investigation on 2016, after the Belgium authorities having detected a suspicious increase in the number of marriage certificates issued in Portugal that would prove to be false.

    Due to the international nature of the crime, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been created which ended up today with a Joint Action Day.

    The operation, designated “Amouda", has been carried out simultaneously in Brussels (Belgium), Lisboa and Algarve. To ease the direct operation, Belgium officers were in Portugal while a SEF team travelled to Belgium.

    Europol has supported the joint operation at the coordination centre created by Eurojust. Analysts from Europol were deployed as well to Belgium and Portugal for the cross-checking of information in real time and forensic analysis of mobile phones.

    Read more

  • 11 January 2019 | SEF carries out sweep operations to amateur football clubs

    During this week, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) has carried out five sweep operations to amateur football clubs from north and south of the country, with the purpose to ascertain the possibility of foreign nationals to be into the labour and/or sports activity without holding the appropriate permit.

    Out of a total of 42 foreign nationals identified, only two were in an irregular situation in the national territory, and have been notified to voluntary withdrawal.

    The amateur football clubs subject to the inspection were Vila Flor Sport Clube, Associação Desportiva Cultural Rebordelo, Clube Atlético de MAcedo de Cavaleiros, Grupo desportivo e Cultural de Santa Comba da Vilariça and Clube de Futebol Sporting de Viana.

    Under their competences, SEF controls and inspects the stay and activity of the foreign nationals, bearing in mind not only safety reasons, but also to confirm the actual labour relationships. Therefore, employers are checked and inspected to confirm the employment relationship and the actual stay in the national territory of the foreign nationals.

    SEF's actions, under sports field, as with in other areas of operation, aim the detection of situations of documentary irregularity in our country, fitting in on a systematic effort for control of entry, stay and exit of foreign nationals in the national territory, as well as prevention, detection and fighting phenomena associated to assisting unlawful immigration.

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