Portugal´s only registered non-profit crime prevention association providing dedicated information and support services to the community

Happy Valentines Day and a welcome to our latest newsletter. 

At Safe Communities Portugal we have been out and about, with visits to Leiria, Obidos, Coimbra and Lisbon in the last three weeks. It is important that we get essential information concerning safety and security across to the widest international community here in Portugal, so we hope these visits will help facilitate this objective. We also count on you to help spread the word.  

You may note this month that around half of articles are on preventive measures in the area of crime prevention, cybercrime and civil protection. We publish these based on our official arrangements in place with several government departments.

This month there is an emphasis on cybercrime, with some positive news that Instagram has finally pledged to remove pictures/messages promoting self harm. I have to say I find it unbelievable that organisations such as this have continued so long to be the platforms for hate crimes, terrorism propaganda, fake news and the spreading of false information, cyber bullying etc etc. Much more needs to be done and if those platforms do not self regulate, then government should introduce legislation to ensure they do. 

Please also be aware of unqualified advice being given on some Facebook groups popular with the foreign community here in Portugal, which may be inaccurate, misleading or in some cases illegal. You never know who is watching these pages!
One of the "hot topics" is the newly introduced law concerning the registration required with ICNF in order to burn heaped debris and carry out extensive burning. Please see our article concerning this.

Some very good news is the GNR and HMRC being placed in the top three in the p restigious "UK Government Counter Fraud Awards" Outstanding International Collaboration category" held at a ceremony in London on 13th February. A very good example of international co-operation. Well done. More details in our "Breaking News Section".
We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue to do the work that we do. Thank you: Algarve Homes , Conrad Algarve , Algarve Getaways , and   Mestre Raposa  for sponsoring this newsletter and for the support of the   Embassy of Ireland Portugal .

To learn more about how to sponsor a newsletter by becoming one of our supporters please contact us on 913045093 or at   info@safecommunitiesportugal.com

David Thomas
Safe Communities Portugal

Measures to combat homicides in domestic violence

The Government and the Attorney General's Office have decided to speed up the collection, processing and cross-checking of official quantitative data (from the PSP, GNR, PJ and PGR) on homicides and other forms of domestic violence.

They also agreed to improve the mechanisms for protecting the victim within 72 hours after filing a complaint with the criminal police, by setting up victim support offices in the Departments of Criminal Investigation and Action and strengthening the coordination and cooperation between security forces , magistrates and non-governmental organisations working to prevent and combat domestic violence.

There was also an agreement to strengthen the training models, which will become common to the PSP and GNR, magistrates and judicial officials, and training to be more focused on the analysis of concrete cases.

These decisions were taken at a working meeting on critical issues associated with homicides this year and the problem of domestic violence, which had been announced by the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality and the Prime Minister.
New Law concerning registration to burn debris and conduct extensive burning

If anyone is wondering why this is headline news it is simply because over half the fires last year was caused by the uncontrolled burning of land either the burning of debris or the extensive burning of land.

Burning piled heaps of debris 

Under the old system the procedure for notification for burning piled debris  people were required to contact the local Bombeiros - This is no longer the case, however, it is understood that still some Municipal Bombeiros have not migrated to the new national system.

The system is now as follows:

People should complete the on line process requiring registration through the ICNF website by providing the details of when you wish to burn. Details will be registered on a data base and you obtain authorisation at the end of the process followed up by an email confirming this with relevant information for the day you wish to burn.

Alternatively you can contact a central telephone number 808 200 520 (in Portuguese at present) and provide similar information. Option 1 Environmental matters, pet cruelty etc, 2 for land cleaning issues and 3 burning and other issues. Or you can contact your local Camara. 

In summary to undertake the burning of heaped debris you should:

  1. Register with the ICNF using the on-line process
  2. Using the same process make an application working through the various steps
  3. Check you receive authorisation at the end of the process and that you receive the email confirmation
  4. Check the fire risk for your area on the day you wish to burn
  5. Ensure all the safety requirements are followed before, during and after your burning. 

Extensive burning

For Queimdas (pasture renewal burning) you can also apply on-line using the same link as above but a permit must be obtained through online application or to the Camara. Remember Queimdas cannot be undertaken when the fire risk is High, Very High or Maximum. 

The purpose of the new law is to ensure that there is better control and information to the emergency services concerning controlled burning.

Portuguese participation in international military missions increased by 17%   

Prime Minister António Costa has said that in 2018 Portugal committed "a monthly average of 860 troops" in international operations and missions, a 17% increase over 2017.

During the First National Defence Seminar held in Lisbon earlier this month the Prime Minister said that "Portugal must be present with a responsible and credible voice in the myriad of international organisations, where countries cooperate, to ensure regularity of operation and security of the international system '.

Although Portugal is one of the "safest destinations in the world", António Costa said that "it is not immune to a wide range of threats", which implies "permanent" work of risk control and prevention.

The Prime Minister also said that the country should be prepared not only to "minimize the effects of these threats, if they occur, but also to restore rapidly the normal conditions of operation of society".

Referring to the defence industries as "a strategic asset in which there is an important national interest", António Costa stated that the Government is re-evaluating the model for the participation of the State in the sector, based on the Common Policy Security and Defence and its development over the past two and a half years.

"The adoption of the Military Programming Law, the commitment to invest in defence in the framework of NATO and the recent developments in the field of European Defence suggest, therefore, the revisions that are being made by the Government of the model foreseen for State participation in defence industries" the PM said.

Breaking News

HMRC - GNR Collaboration in finals at UK Government Counter Fraud Awards 2019 

A collaboration between the GNR and HMRC was presented to judges for the 2019 UK Government Counter Fraud Awards, at the award ceremony held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on 13 th February 2019. The award ceremony took place following the Fraud Conference and although news of the winners is awaited, the GNR - HMRC were one of the three finalist in their category. 

The overall standard of entries was very high indeed. In the outstanding international collaboration category, a new category introduced in 2019, Operation "Fumo Branco", a collaboration between the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), HMRC's Fiscal Crime Liaison Office in Lisbon, the Portuguese National Republican Guard (GNR) and the Judiciary of Portugal was presented.

Others earlier shortlisted were;

  • International Charity Fraud Awareness Week: a campaign run by the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Fraud Advisory Panel with partners in Australia, New Zealand and the US
  • Operation Fanbelt: a collaboration between the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) and the Dutch Fiscal Information & Investigation Service (FIOD)
Each year, the public sector loses billions of pounds to fraud and corruption. Despite stretched resources and a constantly shifting landscape, counter fraud practitioners have proven incredibly resourceful and creative in their approach.

The annual Government Counter Fraud Awards celebrate the exceptional work being done to protect public funds in the UK.

There are eight Award categories designed to showcase a broad range of counter fraud and anti-corruption cases, initiatives and projects.

European Parliament approves new Disaster Response Mechanism  
On 12th February the European Parliament (EP) today gave the green light to the "RescEU" system, which strengthens the EU's disaster preparedness and response capacity, such as forest fires and floods.

Legislation on the new European Civil Protection Mechanism, adopted in plenary by 620 votes in favour, 22 against and 35 abstentions, provides for the creation of a Europe-wide asset pool for responding to disasters, including firefighting aircraft, special water pumps, urban search and rescue teams, field hospitals and emergency medical teams. These resources will complement national resources and will be managed at EU level.

The decision also includes disaster prevention and preparedness measures. The EU will step up support to Member States to improve risk management and to strengthen existing national measures. Proposed actions include the sending of expert missions, a consultation mechanism and the creation of a European Knowledge Network on Civil Protection.

Minister of Internal administration Eduardo Cabrita said that the Government will now analyze the final version approved by the European Parliament and the effort that represents, through the Internal Administration and National Defence, that has the responsibility for the management of air resources.


Travel Wise for Irish Citizens travelling abroad 

TravelWise is an award-winning smartphone app designed to help Irish citizens to stay safe and informed while travelling, living or working overseas.

A core part of our mission is to help ensure the safety and welfare of Irish people travelling abroad by providing accessible and relevant information. There are increasing numbers of Irish residents travelling abroad - more than 7 million trips abroad - and increasing numbers travelling to higher risk locations.

TravelWise has been developed by the Department to provide travel advice and consular information to these citizens to keep them informed and aware.

With TravelWise, you get our user-friendly, trusted and comprehensive travel advice and consular information for 200 different countries - straight to your phone.

Read more and link to App


Very impressive system
Top stories

Conference on Urban Security brings together experts in Coimbra

The Governing Board of the Internal Administration held a conference on "Urban Safety - Municipalities and the Protection of Public Space" from January 31st until February 2nd at the São Francisco Convent in Coimbra.

The conference brought together over 300 representatives from municipalities, security forces and services, researchers and civil society to discuss relevant issues in the area of Internal Administration which impact at the local level. 

On January 31st, the theme of urban security was developed by specialists in the field who l discussed the various dimensions of crime prevention in urban centres and their relationship with strategies developed by local authorities. 

David Thomas president Safe Communities Portugal spoke on the subject of "The Role of Community organisation in the support of Police".

The opening session, on January 31, was attended by the Secretary of State for Local Authorities, Carlos Miguel, and the President of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities and the Coimbra Municipal Council, Manuel Machado. 

Government will launch the 4th edition of the 365 Algarve program

The cultural program 365 Algarve will have a 4th edition between October 2019 and May 2020. 

Energised by the areas of governance of the Economy and Culture, 365 Algarve was created in 2016 to improve the attractiveness and the tourist experience in all the municipalities of the region, mitigating the seasonality through a quality cultural program, built from the proposals of the local artistic fabric. Three editions were initially planned (the 3rd is currently in progress). 

The 365 Algarve has attracted more and more public and the average number of spectators per session increased in all editions. To date, more than 300,000 spectators have attended the events. In the last three years, 1553 initiatives were promoted in a global investment of 4.5 million euros, financed by Turismo de Portugal.

At the same time, overnight stays in the Algarve during the low season have increased by 23% since 2016. As a result, the seasonality rate decreased from 46% in 2015 to 42.9% in 2017. In November and December last, passengers landed at Faro airport increased 16.4% and 23.3%, respectively.

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, stated that "365 Algarve has been an important tool to promote this destination with a lively destination all year round", reason for the launch of a new edition. 

"The success of this program has allowed us to create unique, cultural, authentic and surprising experiences for both domestic and foreign residents and tourists," she said.
Notable Arrests

Leiria - Person accused of extortion and other crimes against a woman that he met on Facebook

A man has been charged by the Public Prosecution (MP) Service with several crimes, for having harassed a woman when the relationship with her ended.

According to a statement published this Friday 8th February in the website of the Leiria District Attorney's Office, the defendant, residing in Ílhavo, Aveiro, is suspected of committing crimes of attempted aggravated extortion, disturbance of private life, deprivation of private life aggravated, deprivation of privacy, threat and persecution.

In the indictment, it was stated that, between April and June 2018, the victim and the accused communicated through the Facebook messaging service and through the mobile phone, having had face-to-face meetings.

After the victim had ended the relationship, on July 3, 2018, the accused, "every day, until August 19, 2018, called her on his cell phone and sent messages of a sexual or threatening nature."

According to the MP, the man "sent to the relatives of the victim, photographs of her against her will," and also demanded that the victim give him one thousand euros, threatening her with the disclosure of the photos to other relatives and friends".

The investigation was carried out under the direction of the Public Ministry in the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action of Leiria, with the assistance of the Leiria Judicial Police.
Five arrested with false documents at Lisbon and Faro airports

Five foreign nationals were detained over weekend (9th and 10th February) at airports in Lisbon and Faro on suspicion of using fake documents, the Foreigners and Borders Service has reported.

At Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, four foreign nationals travelling to Dublin, Ireland, with fake identity cards and driving licenses issued by Italy, Belgium and Greece were found.

The Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) stated that at Faro Airport, a foreign national was allegedly caught in the act when he tried to travel to Cork, Republic of Ireland, with a forged passport of the Slovak Republic.

"In addition, the passenger was in an irregular situation in Portugal and was therefore detained for illegal stay and will be present to the Faro Court for validation of detention and application of appropriate measures.", according to the note.
Gouveia - Detained for domestic violence

On 11th February 2019 the GNR Guarda Territorial Command, through the Nucleus of Investigation and Support to Specific Victims (NIAVE), arrested a 73-year-old man for domestic violence in the municipality of Gouveia.

As part of an investigation into the crime of domestic violence, an arrest warrant and a search warrant were issued, resulting in the seizure of the following items:

* 150 ammunition;
* A pistol;
* A compressed air weapon;
* An automatic opening knife.

The detainee will remain at the GNR's premises until he appears at the Judicial Court of Gouveia, to decided conditions pending trial.

Safe Communities Portugal 

Visit to Leiria - Meetings with ANPC (CDOS), GNR, PSP and Turismo de Portugal (Central Region)

As part of Safe Communities Portugal expansion program to reach the international communities throughout the country, we have recently visited Leiria, meeting with the ANPC (CDOS), GNR, PSP as well as Turismo de Portugal (Central Area representative)

During the meetings we discussed a number of topics as follows:
  • The challenges faced by the CDOS concerning the fires of 2017, and preparation under the Safe Village Safe People Program for 2019.
  • Agreement that SCP would offer support to CDOS in reaching out to the foreign communities in the Leiria District.
  • Collaboration between Turismo de Portugal (Central Region), CDOS and SCP concerning creating greater awareness among tourists concerning the risk of rural fires and self protection measures.
  • AL accommodation - rural fire self-protection issues
  • Crime in the areas under the jurisdiction of PSP iand GNRn the district.
  • Promoting the PSP Facebook page in order to reach the local community
  • "Program Connect" being held in several areas around Caldas da Rainha - greater promotion of the program and forthcoming events
  • The Safe Residence Program and how it is being implemented in the region
  • Unregistered foreign nationals living in isolated areas and the difficulties this poses to the emergency services during catastrophes

Safe Communities "Program Connect" Obidos

On the 6th Febrrary 2019 the latest in the series of meetings in the Program Connect series was held at the Bomberios Headquarters in Obidos from 1500 to 1630 hrs.

During the event the authorities present: Civil protection/Bomberios, GNR and PSP answered many questions concerning local safety and security issues one of the most frequent being the issue of land cleaning.
Those attending said they were pleased with the event and an opportunity to forward ideas and discuss local issues. We thank the emergency services for their support.
This builds upon the success of previous events which have been well received.
More are planned for the future. This an ideal opportunity for people to raise questions and concerns with the experts, who are there to help.
Boliqueime, Algarve event
The next "Program Connect" will be outside Aldi supermarket Boliqueime on 14th February from 1000 to 1400 hrs with the GNR. This has been advertised on Facebook.

Local News

PS Party Faro launches petition to install PSP post in Montenegro and GNR post in Estoi

PS Party Faro has launched a petition to install a PSP post in Montenegro and a GNR post in Estoi.  This is the proposal that the PS (Socialist Party) of Faro intend to present to the Minister of Internal Administration, through a formal Petition.

In order to give a symbolic start to this initiative, the Socialist party farmers members  promoted a "collection of citizens' signatures" on Sunday 10th February in the traditional market of Estoi.

The petition, according to Paulo Neves, president of PS / Faro, who is the first petitioner, stresses the need for a reorganization of public security forces, to give greater proximity to the populations of Estoi - Conceição, Santa Bárbara de Nexe and Montenegro '.

As regards Montenegro, the document considers that it should have a PSP, station 'given the population density of that urban conglomerate, which has more than doubled in the last 10 years, and by the concentration of the main public facilities in the municipality whose location it attracted'.

Regarding the GNR post, the petition considers that it should be installed in Estoi , appreciating its size and intermediate location to the city of Faro, other places of the Parish of Santa Bárbara de Nexe and the population composition as well as the rural dispersion of the respective accommodation".

Instagram vows to remove all graphic self-harm images from site

All graphic images of self-harm will be removed from Instagram, the head of the social media platform has told the BBC.

The move comes after the father of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who took her own life in 2017, said Instragram had "helped kill" his daughter.  Molly's family found she had been viewing graphic images of self-harm on the site prior to her death.

Adam Mosseri said Instagram was trying to balance "the need to act now and the need to act responsibly". He added the site was "not where we need to be on the issues of self-harm and suicide". When asked by the BBC's Angus Crawford when the images would be removed, Mr Mosseri replied: "As quickly as we can, responsibly."

Molly's father Ian Russell welcomed Instagram's commitment and said he hoped they would act swiftly to implement their plans.

"It is now time for other social media platforms to take action to recognise the responsibility they too have to their users if the internet is to become a safe place for young and vulnerable people," he added.


This is long overdue and hopefully other social media platforms will take action. It is vitally important that parents speak to their children to help them be aware of the dangers on social media.

A very good site is kidshealth.org  which explains to parents how to be smart in the safe use of social media with some excellent tips.   

Revealed: the child victims of Tinder, Grindr and other dating apps

The UK's Government's Culture Secretary wants strict age checks to stop under-18s using dating apps.

The failure of tech giants to enforce adult age limits on dating apps is placing a generation of children at risk of grooming and sexual exploitation, a UK Sunday Times investigation revealed on 10th February.

Lax controls on apps used by millions, such as Tinder and Grindr, are giving sexual predators and paedophiles easy access to children across Britain, according to police documents revealed under freedom of information laws.

Detectives have investigated more than 30 incidents of child rape since 2015 where victims evaded age checks on dating apps only to be sexually exploited. One 13-year-old boy on Grindr was raped or abused by at least 21 men.

Documents reveal 60 further cases of child sex offences via online dating services, including grooming, kidnapping and violent sexual assault. The youngest chiold abused was eight years old.
UK's Nation Crime Agency estimates that up to 80,000 people in the UK pose a threat to children on-line.


Although this is an issue concerning the situation in the UK, such dating apps respect no physical national borders. Parents here in Portugal are therefore reminded to ensure that their children are not using such apps or any other unsuitable material.

Beware Email concerning applying for European Residency Permits

Please be aware of an email  from "no-reply (at) full exposure.com" concerning "Residency Permits in the European Union"

The email states " We can assist you to receive Residence Permit in European Union within 2-3 months.
It will allow you:
- live
- work
- make business
- study for children

in any country of European Union.
Details: email address given in the email through a link". 

The site in question is listed as "very high risk" and your virus protection should either block it or show it as a scam.

Do not click on the link, and if you do and asked to accept the risk, do not proceed further.


Do not click on links from unreliable resources.

All matters concerning residency should be referred to the Residency page of   SEF or your Embassy

Crime Prevention

Alfeizerão - Identified by illegal detention of exotic species

The Leiria GNR Territorial Command, SEPNA unit Caldas da Rainha, have identified a 58-year-old woman for keeping three exotic birds in captivity in the municipality of Caldas das Rainha.

In the course of a patrolling action the military detected the three parrots, in the annex of a residence, the particular pecies being a "Amazoba Autumnalis", a Aratinga and a "Psittacara Leurocophthalmus" together with a "Agapornis Fischeri", without its declaration or registration of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The birds were apprehended and their counterfeit news report was issued, whose infringement by detention of an exotic species in captivity without a CITES declaration is punishable by a fine of at least 2,000 euros and a maximum of 20,000 euros.

The birds were seized, and their holder / owner was named as the custodian.


Owners of such birds are required to register these through CITES. Further information on how to do this contact Safe Communities Portugal.

Living in isolated area? Register with GNR Safe Residence Program

The GNR Safe Residence Program has been in existence for 9 years and is aimed at helping the GNR provide a quick response to emergencies for those living in isolated areas.  

Over 6000 households are registered for this scheme in the Algarve and over 25,000 in the country as a whole.

The scheme works by the GNR taking a geo-reference of your property and allocating a house number, so they know exactly where you are and in the case of an emergency can respond quickly. It is free of charge.

Although this is primarily for use during crime emergencies, it is also essential should you be affected by a rural fire, when the GNR may need to facilitate evacuations.

In view of this it is recommended that those living in isolated areas, especially high risk fire areas should register as soon as possible.

More details about the GNR SRP can be found here.

Civil Protection and Public Safety

Rural Fire Management Prevention and Protection - Top Ten Check List

Resulting from the rural fires of 2017 and the findings of the subsequent reviews, has been the introduction of an integrated and specialisd model for the management of rural fires, known appropriately, as the "Integrated Rural Fire Management System". The aim is to ensure that fire does not pose a threat to the population, nor does it present a potential for harm to people, property and the environment.

To carry this forward is the creation of the new Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF). This is a major step forward, as under new legislation it has a coordinating role between various departments involved in the prevention and protection of the population against rural fires.

Safe Communities Portugal is working closely with AGIF and we have recently proposed to them a top ten check list for people to follow in terms of the prevention and self protection measure against rural fires. They consider this quote "a very good idea which they will adopt":

The Top Ten action list is as follows:


  • Check if you are living in a high risk fire area
  • Undertake land cleaning without delay - if advice is required contact local civil protection or Hotline 808 200 520 - Remember deadline 15th March
  • Neighbouring land - if it poses fire risk, and cannot be resolved contact GNR as soon as possible
  • Prepare your house by cleaning roof, terraces, leaves from gutters etc
  • Controlled burning of debris- Ensure registration, authorisation/permit is obtained before and follow safety regulation
  • Familiarize yourself with self-protection measures under Safe village - Safe People Program
  • For those in high risk areas - prepare or update an Emergency Evacuation Kit
  • Emergency Contact numbers - keep at hand
  • High risk areas - Familiarize yourself with village and evacuation plans and assembly points. If none identify and escape route and safety point.
  • Developments - Keep up to date through: ICNF,ANPC,IPMA websites and that of SCP

Full details of the various steps can be found by visiting our website Rural Fires section here. Remember the contents have been validated by government with whom we have official protocol agreements.
Council of Ministers approves intervention plan in quarries in critical situation

The Council of Ministers has approved on 7 th February the Quarantine Intervention plan in Critical Situations, with the objective of ascertaining the actual situation of the quarries existing throughout the continental territory and allowing the evaluation of the need for intervention, with priority being given to the protection of people and property and environment.

The Intervention Plan was determined by the Minister of the Environment and Energy Transition following the collapse of Municipal Highway 255 in Borba on November 19, 2018. 

In Portugal, there are around 2 500 quarries, of which 57% are licensed by the Central Public Administration and 43% are licensed by the local Public Administration. 

Three of these quarries are in the Algarve one being the Palmeira # 2 quarry in Monchique,

Of the 1,426 quarries in the areas under the competence of the the Central Public Administration, 191 quarries (13%) are in a critical situation as follows:
  • 87% - requiring signalling 
  • 74% - requiring sealing,
  • 93% - for carrying out results of previous studies and / or execution projects technical solutions suitable for carrying out structural interventions, the replacement of defence zones and the stabilisation of heaps.
The estimated investment is 14.3 million euros to be borne by the quarry operators or owners of the lands where they are located. 

Overseas News

Nearly 300 cars disappear after Asia Pacific Summit

Many of the 300 luxury vehicles imported by Papua New Guinea to transport the leaders of the countries that participated in the Asia-Pacific summit last year were not returned.

Papua New Guinea police said on Tuesday 12th February 2019 that they were trying to locate 284 cars imported and used to transport the leaders of countries attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the country's capital, Port Moresby, last year.

After the event, the vehicles were not returned to the State Assets Recovery Unit of the government. Among them there are Toyota Land Cruisers, Fords, Mazdas and Mitsubishi Pajeros. However, all 40 luxurious Maseratis and Bentleys, worth more than 86,000 euros each, were subsequently located and recovered.

According to police, nine of the missing cars were stolen. Of the vehicles returned, some had missing parts and others were badly damaged. Police believe six of the nine stolen cars are still in Port Moresby, while three of them are in Mount Hagen.

Spain Residency fraud - Police take down fake citizenship ring

POLICE in Cuenca, central Spain, have brought down a gang allegedly arranging fake marriages between Asian nationals and EU citizens to acquire residency.

Officers from the National Police arrested seven people thought to be responsible for bringing in women from the EU who would pretend to be married to Asian citizens and help them live in Europe legally.

The reported head of the group, an Indian citizen living in Cuenca, also expanded his criminal ring into Motilla del Palancar, where he recruited another man to continue his alleged crimes.

The group are suspected of charging between €12,500 and €15,000 for their crimes, providing false marriage certificates, and allowing their clients to apply for family member temporary residence in the European Union.

Once the Spanish government granted a request, the gang then allegedly helped clients apply for an identity card.

Police claim the group even created fictional companies to fraudulently hire the EU spouses in order to fulfil the financial requirements for residency.

Officers found the gang fraudulently registered around 30 people in Cuenca and Motilla del Palancar.

Nineteen arrested in France and Italy in Multi Million Gold Laundering Operation

On 21 January 2019, some 300 hundred officers from the Gendarmerie Nationale (French Gendarmerie) and the Guardia di Finanza (Italian Finance Corps) targeted suspects across both countries believed to be part of an organised crime group behind a large-scale international money-laundering scheme. 

The criminal cash flows are estimated at €5 to €7 million per month.
The coordinated raids took place simultaneously in Paris, Ivry-sur-Seine, Bagnolet, Montpellier, Marseille, Fréjus, Grenoble and Orvault on the French side, and Florence, Arrezzo, Brescia and Rome on the Italian one.

As a result, 19 suspects were arrested and some €550 000 in cash seized, alongside several luxury watches and vehicles. Authorities in Algeria seized gold with a value of almost €1 million. 
Spanish media have attributed the escalation of violence witnessed this year on the Costa del Sol to the rivalry between new International crime gangs that have expanded their enterprises to the south of Spain.

How you can help - Donation for crime prevention in Portugal

Each week Safe Communities Portugal provides advice and assistance to those who have contacted the association. No charge is made for this service. If you have benefited from this then why not make a small donation in return. 


Safe Communities Portugal is a non-profit association run by unpaid volunteers. Our services are free of charge and the association is funded by donations. Your generosity by making a donation to help maintain and further develop the work of the association and thereby help keep Portugal a safe place to live and visit would be appreciated. Any amount helps.  

Three ways to make a donation


Paypal - If you would like to make a donation through Paypal please visit our Welcome page and click on the "donate" button. 

By cheque - If you wish to donate by cheque the bank account name is "Associacao SCP Safe Communities Portugal" and cheques can be posted to Caixa 207-Z, Alfontes, Boliqueime, 8100-062, Algarve.

By interbank transfer - If you wish to donate through inter bank transfer please use the same name with the following account details NIB 0033 0000 4542 9864 44705. 

All donations should be marked "Donation for crime prevention". Thank you.

Safe Communities Portugal - Regular Features
Just a reminder that in addition to our website and Facebook page, Safe Communities Portugal produces regular crime prevention features to help the community. These are  in the Algarve Resident and the next one is out  7th March 2019.

We also have a 5 minute feature named "Crimecheck" on Sir Owen Gee's Solid Gold Sunday which is usually aired at 0915 hrs on the last Sunday of each month. Over the last few months with the kind agreement of Owen we have run additional features covering topical issues, such as fire protection.  The next one is on  24th February 2019.  

How your friends can obtain up to date Crime Prevention advice
Please pass on details of Safe Communities Algarve to neighbours and friends so they to can benefit from the up to date crime prevention advice. Simply ask them to click on the following link to obtain the latest newsletter: www.safecommunitiesportugal.com This is a free service.



David Thomas

Safe Communities Portugal



14th February 2019