Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras


SEF participates in an Interpol operation allowing to rescue 430 victims of trafficking in human beings

​Under the combating of trafficking in human beings, unlawful immigration and crimes thereto, such as money laundering and falsification of administrative documents, held on 5 to 9 July, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) has participated in an operation coordinated by Interpol in which 430 victims of trafficking have been rescued, including children, 4000 illegal immigrants have been identified and 286 detentions have been carried out in 47 countries.

The operation “Liberterra" (free land in Latin) has made possible the identification of the modus operandi, places of origin, main routes and means of transport used under the trafficking in human beings and unlawful immigration, allowing not only to move forward in the ongoing investigations, but to begin others as well.

For five days, the operation has involved more than SEF 100 inspectors controlling about 42 thousand passengers at the Portuguese border posts, in which three foreign nationals have been detected, at the origin, intending to board to Lisboa holding forged documents, together with a fourth member suspect of being a facilitator in an organised scam of assisting unlawful immigration.

In addition, 65 illegal immigrants have been identified in Portugal, five detentions of foreign nationals have been carried out with the expulsion from the country and nineteen victims of trafficking in human beings from Asia with the purpose to labour exploitation rescued. They have been detected in a farm and lured with false promises of legalisation in Portugal.

As far as the detention of the five illegally staying foreign nationals, it was the result of an ongoing investigation which led the Portuguese authorities to carry a house search in the home of a foreign national suspect of kidnapping. This home was inside of a farm, where it was possible to identify several illegally built annexes and which would serve as a shelter to 36 citizens, which activity was the catch of clams.

After inspection within the same area, it has been possible to identify, close by Tejo River, about 300 foreign nationals dedicating to the catch of clams, 29 of which illegally staying in Portugal, and which most part have been notified to voluntarily leave the country, according to as provided in the Aliens Law in force.

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