Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras


Effective imprisonment for ringleaders of an international criminal network

Two of the main members of an international criminal organisation, in custody since 2019, have been accused of the crimes of association to assisting unlawful immigration, forgery of administrative documents and assisting unlawful immigration, with penalties from four years and eight months of effective imprisonment and supplementary penalty of expulsion for five years, and six years and six months of effective imprisonment and supplementary penalty of expulsion for ten years.

The investigation held by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), named Alma Lusa, aimed for the fraudulent granting of the Portuguese nationality to Brazilian nationals, based on forged Brazilian documentation supporting the fictitious family relations with Portuguese nationals.
In addition, it has been proved that the two defendants, aged between 45 and 47 years-old, and already known to the European authorities, had acquired the Portuguese nationality based on fraudulent documentation as well.
Under the operation Alma Lusa, started on 2019, SEF has dismantled a criminal organisation which offered forged documentation and a whole logistic to the fraudulent acquiring of citizenship of European countries, in particular Portugal, which, in exchange of huge amounts of money, about 20 thousand euros, would promise the fraudulent issue of original Portuguese documentation to Brazilian citizens which do not meet the requirements provided by Law. This criminal scam resulted in the exponential increase of applications for Portuguese nationality.
The detainees, mostly representing their clients as their proxies in Portugal, would obtain within some notary offices in Brazil forged Brazilian documentation, certificates obtained from a filed birth certificate, with abusively modified biodata, allowing to prove, within the Portuguese Civil Registry Offices, that certain individuals would gather the requirements legally provided for the obtaining of the original Portuguese nationality.
Based in this false register, the “clients” at stake, already with the Portuguese nationality illegally granted based in false parental relations, would request the issue of the Portuguese citizen card and electronic passport, ensuring every benefit as holders of Portuguese documents. For such, this criminal network would have the help of an attorney, made defendant and an essential part in this scam.

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