According to a statement from SEF, the sentence was read last week against two Portuguese women, aged 57 and 39, who were sentenced to prison terms of three years and nine months and two years and two months, respectively, for committing the crimes of aiding illegal immigration and recruiting illegal labour.

The crimes investigated by SEF date back to July 2016, when the two women recruited several citizens of Hindu origin (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) in the Martim Moniz area of ​​Lisbon (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) to work for the agricultural company which they represented, in Famalicão, “promising further assistance in their legalisation, since they were all in an irregular situation in national territory”.

According to the service that controls the Portuguese borders, in September of the same year, one of the defendants transported the citizens to the Algarve, where they were housed in containers on a farm.

The court has now found that citizens were exploited at work, “working between eight and 12 hours a day, seven days a week, not being monetarily compensated for the work, nor having been paid the agreed amount or food allowance”.

The SEF statement also states that it has been proven that the defendants “took advantage of the fragility in which these foreign citizens found themselves”.

“The group of judges understood that the defendants knew that by hiring, transporting, housing and benefiting from the work of these foreign citizens, they favoured and facilitated the illegal stay of foreigners in national territory”, concludes the SEF.