Three pastors detained on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 13-01-2020 16:11:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) said that it had detained in the Greater Lisbon area three Evangelical pastors on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration and people trafficking.

In a statement, SEF said that the arrest of the pastors took place on Thursday and that in addition five residences in the Greater Lisbon area were searched.

Contacted by Lusa, the SEF did not specify which religious organisation the pastors served, indicating only that they were with an Evangelical church.

It said that around three dozen foreign citizens, all from South America, were identified at the premises searched, all “in very precarious conditions”.

According to the SEF, foreign nationals were recruited by the religious organisation in their country of origin and were brought to Portugal, mostly undocumented, to engage in work without the necessary legal authorisation.

In addition to poor working conditions, accommodation and state of health in which the foreign nationals - including children - were found, they were obliged to make payments to the religious organisation, the SEF said.


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