Special cop ops sweep Portugal

in News · 19-11-2015 13:54:00 · 1 Comments
Special cop ops sweep Portugal

A series of special police operations have been carried out this past week in Portugal,
targeting weapons, violent crime, and human trafficking. It has been stated however that the action is unrelated to the Paris atrocities.

Earlier this week the Judiciary Police’s (PJ) Terrorism Combat unit rolled out a nationwide operation to crack down on human trafficking.
A PJ source explained that action was staged in various parts of the country and was related to crimes of people trafficking, prostitution and extortion.
As part of the operation, named ‘Corda Bamba’ (Operation Tightrope), dozens of property searches were carried out and eighteen people – thirteen men and five women aged 20 to 63 – were arrested on suspicion of being involved in people trafficking, extortion, procuring for prostitution, forging documents and criminal association.
“The investigation allowed for an organised criminal group made up mostly of foreigners to be dismantled, which recruited workers on the promise of improving the victims’ lives [in Portugal], and then would exploit them using violence, physical threats and coercion, as well as sexually exploiting women and extorting other people”, a statement from the PJ explained.
It added that over 100 victims were identified.
A report from the Observatory of Human Trafficking last year said that the number of suspected cases of human trafficking in Portugal had fallen by 36 percent.
In 2014 Portugal maintained its status as a “destination country”, with 70 percent of flagged cases having been brought in, but was also a “country of origin” in 43 percent of its cases, and a “country of transit” in 16 percent of cases.

According to the Ministry for Home Affairs, the majority of the 132 victims freed in Portugal last year were European, mostly Romanian, followed by Africans, most being from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, on Monday a series of police raids were carried out by PSP officers in various neighbourhoods throughout Lisbon and Loures.
The early-morning crime prevention raids started at around 7am and concluded some three hours later, sweeping the neighbourhoods of Armador (Chelas), Olaias (Graça) and Unhos, Loures.
“This prevention and weapon detection operation comes in sequence to another [operation] that we carried out in May, and in which people were detained and weapons seized. After that operation we began to make inquiries with some of the suspects, which culminated in new searches of a preventative nature”, a source from the PSP Lisbon Metropolitan Command told Lusa News Agency.
The PSP source added that Monday’s crime-busting operation was carried out by more than 100 officers.
No arrests were made or weapons confiscated in the action.
Twenty-four hours later, on Tuesday, identical action was taken for the second consecutive day by the PSP in five other Lisbon neighbourhoods.
Thirty-one homes were searched in total, twenty-six in Ameixoeira, two in Benfica, one in Alta de Lisboa, one in Amadora and one in São Julião do Tojal.
The operation was launched at 7am on Tuesday morning and was coordinated and supervised by the Command’s Criminal Investigation Unit.
Eight people were detained and five firearms and an unknown quantity of drugs were seized in the action, which also stretched to the Alentejo city of Beja.
A PSP spokesperson stressed that the operations do not have a direct link to the terrorist attacks carried out on Friday in the French capital Paris, but are part of preventative action carried out routinely by the public safety force.
“It is a preventive operation. There is no direct relationship [with the attacks in Paris], but there is a direct relationship with the permanent activity of the PSP that is always on the ground, always performing operations. That is the main warranty. PSP activity exists with intensity”, the source reiterated.



Comments:

Today we were in Vila Nova de Milfontes, we came across a very distressed young Romanian guy, he was asking for the GNR. Through our phone translator app we managed to convey to him to stay where he was and we would tell them where he was. I hope he was picked up and is now safe, if he was one of the trafficked he should be taken care of.

by Sarah from Alentejo on 20-11-2015 06:39:00
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