The Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) has detained, yesterday, three citizens, pastors of a religious organisation, on the suspicion of association in assisting unlawful immigration and trafficking in human beings.
In addition to three arrest warrants, SEF has further complied with five house searches in the area of Great Lisboa.
In sites of the searches, about three dozens of foreign nationals from South America have been identified, accommodated in different places of worships, under very poor conditions.
The foreign nationals, raised by the religious organisation in the country of origin, were mostly illegally staying in Portugal, carrying out a subordinate activity without the necessary valid legal permit.
In addition to the working conditions, accommodation and sanitation in which they have been detected, the foreign nationals, amongst which children, were subject to the payment of amounts of money to the religious organisation.
The detainees are to be brought before the court today for the first interrogation and implementation of cautionary measures.
In total, 55 SEF elements have participated.
The SEF investigation will proceed.