Internal Affairs Minister summoned to clarify immigration scam

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 14-11-2019 08:00:00 · 0 Comments

Parliament has approved to summon the Minister of Internal Affairs to provide clarification on the alleged involvement of SEF officials in facilitation of illegal immigration.

The proposals, from the CDS and PSD, were unanimously approved at 13 November meeting of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees.

The date of the hearing has yet to be defined.

Dozens of people, including officials of the Tax Authority, the Foreigners and Borders Service and the Social Security Institute, were detained on 15 October, in an operation to dismantle an alleged criminal network to assist illegal immigration.

There are now 23 defendants, one of whom is in pre-trial detention.

In October, the DN Newspaper reported that a SEF inspector, arrested by police had already been identified in 2017 in an internal investigation that was closed, which led the CDS party to announce that it would call Minister Eduardo Cabrita to parliament, while the Assembly was not yet in office.

At the meeting, PSD deputy Carlos Peixoto recalled that, months ago, Eduardo Cabrita was questioned on reports from SEF and IGAI - Inspectorate General of Internal Administration (IGAI) and "devalued the process".

Since then, however, there has been "an investigation" and arrests have been made, so what is at stake "is whether or not the minister read the reports", which already made "reference to irregularities and illegalities" of SEF inspectors, who allegedly "granted visas to those who were unable to do so".

"If he has read and devalued them, consequences have to be drawn. If not, there are also consequences to be drawn from the relaxed and negligent way in which he handled the matter”.

The centrists want to know if the executive was aware or not and if the report "stayed in the drawer" of the Minister of Internal Administration.

Without opposing the hearing of Eduardo Cabrita, the PS, through Cláudia Santos, claimed that if it had "stayed in the drawer" there would not now be "legal proceedings in progress".

This led to a comment by Chega's deputy, André Ventura, when he said: "The report didn't stay in the drawer of the Judiciary Police, but in the drawer of the Government.


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