Portugal´s only registered non-profit crime prevention association providing dedicated information and support services to the community
6 December 2018


Not unsurprisingly following Black Friday and the approach of Christmas there appears to be an increase in all sorts of online scams being reported.

These range from fake parcel delivery scams to the rather "old fashioned" Nigerian scams, where people offer you a large amount money that does not exist!

It is really important, especially at this time of the year, that we give as much attention to online security as we would for instances protecting our home from thieves.  

This newsletter gives some examples of various scams, some obvious but others less so. Never click  instinctively  on an attachment to and email or a link unless you know who it is from. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or it could be a phishing attempt. Using strong passwords should reduce the likelihood that you will be a victim of a fraud.

Safe Communities Portugal has gone through one of it's busiest periods over the last month, namely
  • Planning and holding a seminar in Portuguese concerning "Nightlife, Alcohol and Tourism Security" in Albufeira attended by the Secretary of State for Internal Administration; 
  • Giving a presentation on the subject of "Safe Tourism" at a PSP conference in Cascais, and attending their 151st Anniversary celebrations; 
  • Undertaking a series of "Program Connect" meetings in Caldas da Rainha and surrounding areas; 
  • Meetings with the GNR, PSP, Judicial Police and ANPC in Porto;
  • Presentation to the Rotary Club of Estoi Palace International concerning Earthquakes and Tsunamis;  
  • A visit by six of us to the ANPC Headquarters in Lisbon;
  • The launch of the new Emergency ID Card; plus
  • Launch of new crime prevention leaflets  for tourists - "How to have a safe stay in the Algarve"
  • A higher than usual number of enquiries.
At the same time we took steps to upgrade our websites. This was necessary as we are receiving more visitors and with the expansion of the sites over the last year, a more powerful server was necessary. This was launched at the end of November. 

The most  noticeable  improvement is a much faster download speed and access to various pages and information. Give it a try now; either Safe Communities Portugal or Safe Communities Algarve) and you will see a difference . 

This week I am in the UK and, apart from a holiday, I am visiting Turismo de Portugal in London and ABTA, the Association of British Tour operators. I have been planning for these for some time, and in our next newsletter I will be outlining our discussions.

This newsletter also reports on two major joint international investigations into violent organised crime and money laundering. The results show the importance of countries working together through intelligence sharing to defeat organised gangs. It is hoped therefore that the outcome of Brexit will in no way adversely affect security in Europe, by making it more difficult to share vital information and intelligence.

We are a voluntary association and rely on donations if you feel we helped you in any way please consider making a donation,  which will enable us to continue, and indeed further improve our services. The details of how to make a donation are at the end of this newsletter or to our PayPal by simply making a donation here.

We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue to do the work that we do. Thank you: EuroFinesco, Tui, Conrad, Algarve Homes and IBEX for sponsoring this new sletter.

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

New Emergency ID Card

To improve communication with the Authorities and emergency medical services in emergencies, Safe Communities Portugal, has developed in collaboration with the emergency services, an "emergency identification card" for tourists and foreign residents in Portugal, but that can be carried by any national citizen.

The card provides vital additional information to first responders in the event the card holder is involved in an accident

  • Free of charge
  • Developed with INEM and security forces and recognised by them
  • In English and Portuguese
  • Easy to download from official websites - no waiting time
  • Easy to update
  • No data privacy issues
The Emergency Card does not replace any official identification documents, but is intended to serve as an additional source of information that contains specific data such as medication, allergies, current illnesses and information about the Authorities of the citizens' countries of origin, whom it may be necessary to establish direct contact, in case of emergencies where the card holder is a victim.

In collaboration with the GNR, PSP and INEM we have sought to respond to a need identified by the foreign community in Portugal, making available in a single document of personal and health data that may be useful to medical teams and Authorities in an emergency situation, such as a road accident or major catastrophes.

The document in English and Portuguese is available for download on the websites of Safe Communities Portugal www.safecommunitiesportugal.com (home page), INEM and Security Forces, and will be made known to foreign communities in Portugal through their respective embassies.
Download here.

Coordinated Crackdown on "Indrangheta Mafia in Europe,

A unique joint investigation by judiciary and police forces in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Belgium culminates in the largest, coordinated joint action against an organised criminal group to date in Europe.

During a joint action day starting in the early hours of 5 December 2018, judicial and law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg have taken coordinated and decisive action against the 'Ndrangheta.

This aggressive, mafia-style organised criminal group is one of the most powerful criminal networks in the world, and controls much of Europe's cocaine trade, combined with systematic money laundering, bribery and violent acts.

The operation, code-named 'Pollino', is the biggest of its kind to date in Europe. Several hundred police, including special intervention units, were engaged in the action, together with prosecutors and investigative officers. The judicial authorities and law enforcement agencies involved have been working intensively together since 2016, including in a Joint Investigation Team supported by Eurojust - the EU's Judicial Cooperation Unit and Europol in The Hague, to prepare the action. 

As a result of close cooperation, almost than 4,000 kg of cocaine and hundreds of kilos of other drugs have been detected across Europe during the course of the investigation.  By 12.00 on the action day, 84 suspects have been reported arrested, including high-ranking members of the mafia network. An estimated EUR 2 million in criminal assets are expected to be seized and many witness hearings and house searches will be conducted, securing important evidence to be used at trial.

Over 1500 Money Mules identified in worldwide money laundering sting.

Working together with Europol, Eurojust and the European Banking Federation, police forces from over 20 States (including Portugal) arrested 168 people (so far) as part of a coordinated money laundering crackdown, the European Money Mule Action (EMMA). This international swoop, the fourth of its kind, was intended to tackle the issue of 'money mules', who help criminals launder millions of euros worth of dirty money.

Held over the past three months (September-November 2018), this year's edition of EMMA saw the participation of law enforcement agencies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Moldova, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Across Europe and beyond, 1504 money mules were identified, leading to the arrest of 168, and 140 money mule organisers. 837 criminal investigations were opened, many of them are still ongoing. 

More than 300 banks, 20 bank associations and other financial institutions helped to report 26376 fraudulent money mule transactions, preventing a total loss of €36,1 million.

The wider community of global and European banks provided support where needed during the three months of action and committed to raising awareness in their country. Once again, this highlights the importance of a quick and coordinated response by law enforcement and the banking sector.

Who and what are Money Mules?

Money mules are individuals who, often unwittingly, have been recruited by criminal organisations as money laundering agents to hide the origin of ill-gotten money. Tricked by the promise of easy money, mules transfer stolen funds between accounts, often in different States, on behalf of others and are usually offered a share of the funds that pass through their own accounts.

Newcomers to a State, the unemployed, and people in economic distress often feature among the most susceptible to this crime. This year, cases involving young people selected by money mule recruiters are on the rise, with criminals increasingly targeting financially-distressed students to gain access to their bank accounts.

Special Features

Debate - Nightlife, Alcohol and Security - Held in Albufeira

As part of Safe Communities Portugal's protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration and in association with Regional Tourism Algarve, a seminar was held on 29 th November in Albufeira on the subject "Nightlife, Alcohol and Security".

The seminar was opened by Snr. Presidente da Câmara Municipal de Albufeira, José Carlos Rolo, Secretária de Estado Adjunta e da Administração Interna, Isabel Oneto and David Thomas President Safe Communities Portugal.

Around 100 persons attended including the General Manager Airport, police commanders, consular officials, representatives from the tourist industry and students from the local area.

In my opening address I said that it has long been a part of many cultures and continues to be an accepted component of most modern lifestyles.

However, excessive alcohol consumption can have an impact on the community through violence, antisocial behaviour, malicious attacks and domestic violence. Other problems can occur in the game related to alcohol consumption, health and social issues.

Findings from various studies over the years show a significant relationship between alcohol consumption and crime. This results in an extra workload for the emergency services and can damage the reputation of the affected areas.

What is an internal daily problem in some countries can also be "exported" through tourism to popular foreign holiday destinations, including Portugal.

Portugal is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for many foreign tourists, attracted by its climate, beaches and tranquil lifestyle. It is therefore important to be aware of the problems related to excessive alcohol consumption in other countries and the potential for social unrest associated with it.

Following introductions by officials, a debate was held between representatives from the GNR, PSP, Bombeiros, SEF, and ASAE, and representatives from Albufeira and Loule municipalities as well as ALEP, the Association of Discotheques and ASHREP on the various issues concerning this subject, including the issues of social disorder and policing and the problems of excessive consumption of alcohol amongst youngsters.

Following the debate, the president of Regional Tourism Algarve Joao Fernandes summarised the issues requiring action in particular:
  • To engender greater awareness by tourists concerning cultural insensitivity and anti-social behaviour concerning and the importance of adopting behaviour that respects local culture  
  • Governments at home and overseas should examine the impact of the sale of alcohol in departure lounges at airports, and adopt appropriate measures accordingly, in order to help reduce the problem drunkenness and aggression on flights and at destinations. (Note: This is already being examined in UK) In respect of UK President SCP will ascertain latest position during his visit to ABTA shortly
  • To examine good practices in competitive tourist destinations overseas, as well as locally, to determine what measures could be adopted in Portugal to minimise social disorder resulting from excessive alcohol.
A more detailed report on the issues identified requiring action will be published shortly. The event was covered by RTP.
Top stories

Marriott Hotel Group victim of massive data breach
The records of 500 million customers of the hotel group Marriott International have been involved in a data breach.

The hotel chain said the guest reservation database of its Starwood division had been compromised by an unauthorised party.

It said an internal investigation found an attacker had been able to access the Starwood network since 2014.

Marriott International bought Starwood in 2016, creating the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 5,800 properties.

Starwood's hotel brands include W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien and Four Points by Sheraton. Marriott-branded hotels use a separate reservation system on a different network.

Marriott said it was alerted by an internal security tool that somebody was attempting to access the Starwood database. After investigating, it discovered that an "unauthorised party had copied and encrypted information".

For about 327 million guests, the information included "some combination" of: name, address, phone number, email address, passport number, account information, date of birth, gender and arrival and departure information

What to do if you are affected:

New training course for 600 PSP agents

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that a new training course for PSP agents with 600 places has been opened.

In Torres Novas, at the end of the 14th training course for PSP agents that included almost 400 personnel, Eduardo Cabrita said that this new contest is "one of the biggest of recent times" and represents a 50% increase over the previous one.

The Minister pointed out that the formation of hundreds of new personnel in 2018 and 2019 is justified.

Eduardo Cabrita also stressed that in 2018 there was "the greatest number of promotions in recent years", with about 2500 members moving to the next level of remuneration and with more than 15,000 police officers benefiting from the unfreezing of careers.

"In all three categories, more than 18 000 people benefited this year from changes in professional status," he added.

The 400 new agents, 60 of them women who have graduated, will be posted in various parts of the country this week.
Notable Arrests

Judicial Police arrest man suspected of killing a woman at the end of August in Faro.

On 27 th November Judicial Police, through the Southern Board and in compliance with an arrest warrant issued by the DIAP of Faro - Loulé Public Prosecutor, identified and detained a man for the alleged perpetration of a murder," according to a statement from PJ sent to newsrooms.

The detainee is suspected of assaulting, tying, gagging and killing a 29-year-old woman, leaving the body inside a car that was then set fire to. Tatiana Mestre was found inside the car, parked in a wilderness, on August 27, the day the crime took place.

The car was found by a couple walking the dogs in that place, hidden in an area with high vegetation and only accessible by dirt roads. The couple found it strange to see the dark windows due to the burning of the fire and called the GNR. The soldiers spotted a body in the interior and called inspectors from the Judicial Police in Faro.

The arrested person is Portuguese, 21 years old and known to the victim.

"The 21-year-old detainee is unemployed, has a criminal record for violent crimes and will be present for judicial interrogation to apply pre-trial conditions deemed appropriate," reads the note.

Faro: GNR detain group of car campervan thieves

Five men suspected of having stolen 17 cars and motor homes, mainly in the Faro area, were detained by the GNR on Monday 3 rd December.

According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, who ordered the arrest, the men, three Britons and two Portuguese, were additionally suspected of being responsible for more thefts, namely electric scooters, bicycles and other objects". The total value has not yet been established but is several hundred thousand euros'.

"It is suspected that, in most cases, the detainees broke into the car rental shops where the ignition keys were, using them to take the vehicles. In some cases, it is suspected that they falsified registration plates and drove the vehicles to Spain, "the MP said.

The members of the group are suspected of felony offences and falsification of documents and appeared on 4th December in Faro for the first judicial interrogation and application of pre-trial conditions.

The investigation leading to these arrests is being conducted by the Public Ministry of the Second Section of Faro of the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP), assisted by the GNR of Faro.

GNR seize more than five thousand doses of drugs in Lagoa

A man who had more than 5,000 doses of hashish, cannabis and cocaine at home was detained for drug trafficking by GNR on 29th November in Lagoa.

Following a police operation in which two search warrants were issued, 5174 doses of hashish, 137 doses of cocaine, 41 doses of cannabis and 11 grams of MDMA were seized.

Seven mobile phones, five blank firearms, a baton, two bicycles, two IPads, a tablet and a laptop, a television, a video game console and 814 euros were also seized in the searches.

This arrest is the culmination of an investigation that lasted four months and was directed by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Portimão.

The 39-year-old man is awaiting trial on probation.

Safe Communities Portugal Local News

Tourism and Security Seminar Cascais

As part of the 151 st anniversary of the PSP, Safe Communities Portugal was invited to take part in the above seminar organised by the PSP in Cascais on 16th November. Around 100 people attended the seminar including PSP commanders.

President Safe Communities Portugal gave a presentation entitled "How to Improve Tourism Security - An external perspective".

The presentation covered a comparison of various policing models in overseas tourist destinations, developing comprehensive tourist security strategies and the importance of including all stakeholders including tourism boards in this process. This followed by a number of proposals for consideration.

The event was opened by the Deputy National Director of the PSP and Commander PSP Lisbon Metropolitan District 

Safe Communities Portugal Team visits ANPC Headquarters

On 24 th November six members of our Safe Communities team undertook a full day training program at the ANPC Headquarters in Lisbon where we learned about issues related to emergency planning for civil protection, public awareness and information, protection and relief operations and first aid in extreme situations.

We met with Patricia Gasper Deputy National Operations Commander ANPC, Jose Oliveira National Director Emergency Planning and Jorge Dias Head of Communications amongst others.

A very enjoyable and interesting visit.

Thank you ANPC team.

Local News

Remand in prison for gang suspected of 300 armed robberies

On 30th November the Criminal Investigation Court of Porto remanded in custody pending trial 12 of the 18 individuals arrested on Tuesday 27th November by the GNR de Gaia, suspected of more than 300 armed robberies, some with violence, that had been taking place since April in the North and Centre of the country.

The group, consisting of "autonomous cells" who responded to three leaders, began by stealing tobacco machines and then automobiles. These were then modified or dismantled, to be sold with considerable profits. 

The group focused on luxury vehicles stealing several dozen, with the peculiarity of them being driven away and parked in the street, where they remained for two or three days, under the watchful eye of the gang.

The reason for this were that as luxury cars there was a possibility of them being equipped with locator, which would lead the authorities to the gang's base if the vehicles had been parked there. Their fears were founded, as that was how the GNR managed to locate and recover 25 such vehicles.

The gang used the cars to carry out robberies inside villas. In conducting such robberies at residences, the gang were always armed and often violent. Between Vila Real and Coimbra, passing through Porto, Aveiro and Viseu, the authorities estimate that they stole items "worth several million euros".
Person convicted and given suspended sentence for circulating in public infected with tuberculosis

The Aveiro court has sentenced a woman to a year and 4 months in prison for having spent several days in public spaces without any protective mask when she was infected with tuberculosis.

The defendant, who was not at the Court of Appeal for the reading of the judgement, was accused of the crime of spreading disease in the consummated form, but was eventually convicted of the same crime in an attempted manner.

According to the indictment of the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP), the accused undertook in May 2017 an X-ray examination, which revealed that she was also infected with pulmonary tuberculosis and began receiving medical treatment on an outpatient basis.

At that time, he was told that he could not leave her home and, if he had to do so, she would have to wear a face mask, which he was given, in order to prevent the possibility of contagion.

According to the investigation, the defendant complied with the conditions until June 24, when she left the home without contacting the health services as to her whereabouts, and began to walk around the streets and public spaces without taking her required medication and without a protective mask.

The MP says that the defendant was perfectly aware that she was infected with tuberculosis and that she was in the most contagious phase of such a disease, and that she could transmit this disease to anyone by simply coughing or touching saliva with utensils, especially children, elderly and cancer patients.

Man sentenced to a year and a half in prison for stealing six euros

The Judicial Court of Braga on has sentenced a man who stole six euros from another person on the public road in January 2016 in that city, to a year and a half in prison.

The accused will also have to return the six euros to the victim and pay him compensation of 250 euros for non-patrimonial damages.

For the non-suspension of the sentence, the court took into account the criminal background of the accused, already serving a prison sentence.

At the trial, the defendant confessed to the crime, was repentant and apologised to the victim.
He said that at the time he was consuming narcotics and that he "was desperate" for lack of money to buy the drug.

According to the indictment, the defendant approached the victim, told him that he had a knife and demanded that he give him the money he had with him.

The victim gave him the wallet, with six euros, which the defendant withdrew and took with him, fleeing.

PSP Lisbon launch road safety awareness week for user of scooters and cyclists

On 4 th December the PSP launched an awareness-raising and road-inspection campaign regarding the riding of motorised scooters and bicycles, (the latter with or without a motor), in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, in order to prevent accidents.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency, Pedro Pereira, deputy commander of the Lisbon Traffic Division, explained that the campaign will take place throughout the week.

According to the official, the authorities have noted "an increase in the use of these types of vehicles and that due to lack of knowledge, some users violate the rules of the Highway Code.

"We decided to increase our actions to raise awareness including the importance of wearing safety helmets. Although it is an enforcement action, it does not mean that the drivers of the scooters will not be charged for riding without a helmet" said the official, adding however, that fines for this violation reach a maximum of 300 euros.

Pedro Pereira, added "like other drivers, those who use scooters or a bicycles must "respect and comply with the rules of the Highway Code, stop at red lights and respect priority rules".
The action will pay special attention to Lisbon city centre, where authorities have verified that there are more motorcycle riders.
Cybercrime and Computer Security

ASAE issues 66 misconduct proceedings on Black Friday

The ASAE initiated 66 counts of misconduct during an operation held during the Black Friday trade event in November, which surveyed 310 economic operators, with online sales and stores open to the public.

The action of the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) lasted "about a week" and was aimed at verifying compliance with the rules applicable to sales and promotions, liquidations and price reductions at this time.

Among the main infractions, ASAE highlighted in a statement was the failure to comply with the rules of the sale announcement with price reductions, non-compliance with the legal rules on promotions and concerning price fixing.

"ASAE has been and will continue to be attentive to these and other malpractices and will not fail to initiate proceedings whenever deemed necessary," the statement said.

Festive Shopping Fraud

This Christmas, Action Fraud and City of London Police are reminding shoppers to take extra care when shopping for gifts online. As consumers search online for bargains and gifts for loved ones, fraudsters are seeing this as an opportunity to trick people with the promise of great deals and big cash savings.

The latest report by Action Fraud shows that fraudsters conned 15,024 shoppers out of more than £11 million over the Christmas period last year.

People are being defrauded on popular social media websites and online auction sites. Action Fraud works together with platforms including Gumtree to combat fraud and to issue protect advice to consumers.

Mobile phones were once again the most common item that people tried to buy from fraudsters. Victims reported being hooked in with bargain deals on some of the most popular models of smart phones, only for the phone to never actually arrive and leaving them without presents to give on Christmas Day. Apple iPhones accounted for 74% of all mobile phones purchased that turned out to be fraudulent.

Electrical goods (including games consoles), household items, computers, clothing, and accessories also featured in many of the reports. Examples including Fingerling toys, UGG Boots and Apple MacBook's were among the most popular items victims reported losing money to fraudsters on.

Beware - Fraud prevention information in the name of Barclays Bank

Beware of this email purportedly from Barclays Bank. The sender's email address is info (at) comms.barclays.com

It is convincing, providing fraud prevention information and advice which is timely with the approach of Christmas. It reads as follows:
"Dear xxx,
With the festive season upon us, many people will be looking forward to some well-earned time off.

Stay safe from fraud by making sure you and your family understand these risks and how to report any issues.

"Online shopping - More and more people are shopping online. Ensure you have anti-virus software on your computer, laptop or mobile device. Try to use online retailers you know and trust and avoid those with poor ratings, as fraudsters can trick shoppers into making purchases on scam websites".

However, the email appears to be fraudulent and the two links provided do not appear to link to a recognised Barclays Bank website pages. Safe Communities Portugal have contacted Barclays Bank and their reply is as follows:

"Thank you for your email. -  We are aware of a number of email scams that are currently operating. We will review the one you have sent to us and take appropriate action".
"We screen every email received and any evidence of phishing attempts or other scams are reported to the relevant authorities". 

Read more  concerning Barclay's Bank response here.
Crime Prevention

Safe Tourism - Leaflet Campaign

As part of our protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration and supported by Regional Tourism Algarve and AMAL a new series of crime prevention leaflets has been produced under the CLS "Contractos Locals de Seguran ҫ a" program.

The leaflets launched at the "Nightlife, Alcohol and Tourism Security" seminar in Albufeira on 29th November, are entitled "How to Have a Safe Stay in the Algarve". There are five in the series covering: Alcohol, Nightlife and Entertainment, In the Street, Driving and Car Parks and Homes and Holiday Accommodation. 

The choice of these topics follows discussions between, the Ministry of Internal Administration, police in the Algarve and Safe Communities Portugal.

Each leaflet is in English and Portuguese and gives tips on how to have a safe stay in the Algarve, as well as contact details of the GNR, PSP and SEF and 112. They were professionally produced by a designer, and are planned to be available on line shortly.

The leaflets are available at the Tourist offices of Regional Tourism Algarve (RTA) throughout the Algarve including the airport .

Business security at Christmas and New Year

In the lead up to Christmas and the New Year cash takings for many businesses will be higher than usual, in particular bars and other places of entertainment.

Criminals are of course wise to this, and there have been cases in the Algarve, where bars in particular have been watched to decide which is likely to have high takings. A problem for many businesses is how to handle cash over this period, in particular whether to transport large sums of cash to the bank or keep it on the premises. The following tips drawn up in consultation with the police should be followed;
  • Firstly do not place staff at risk.
  • When transporting cash, if the amounts are high, whatever the distance, the cash should be carried by a group of two or three staff members distributed between them.
  • It is better to make use of a vehicle parked as close as possible to the starting and destination points.
  • Knowledge of cash handling arrangements should only be known to those who need to know.
  • Cash transportation times should be varied and routes varied as well.
  • It is better to deposit smaller amounts of cash at regular intervals, rather than large sums in one go.
  • Check if you are being followed.
  • Business owners need to balance the need of taking money home after closing rather than keeping the money in a safe on the premise. The third alternative is to open a bank cash deposit box so you can use this anytime to deposit cash.
  • If amounts are very high employ a security company to transport the cash safely, or alternatively contact police for assistance.
If you are undecided whether or not to transport cash, or do not have the resources or means to do it safely, it is better to keep it on the premises, PROVIDED that you have a very secure and well fitted safe.

Civil Protection and Public Safety

A Terra Treme - Earthquake Risk Awareness Exercise

The  A TERRA TREME , the earthquake awareness exercise, took place throughout the country at 11.05 hrs on 5th November 2018.

This coincided with  International Tsunami Awareness Day

The total number taking part increased from around 550,000 in 2017 to 620,000 this year so it is a sizeable proportion of the public. Safe Communities Portugal participated by conducting a small "DROP, COVER, HOLD exercise in Loule.

More details of earthquake and tsunami awareness can be found on our website here.

Earthquake and Tsunami Presentation to International Rotary Estoi

On 20th November Safe Communities Portugal gave a presentation to Rotary Club of Estoi Palace International (RCEPI)  which covered the risk of an earthquake and tsunami affecting the Algarve.

A demonstration of the "Tsunami Simulator" was given showing the likely affects to the population and infrastructure based on the 1755 earthquake.

Following this there were a number of questions concerning this subject and communication to the population in such a crisis.

I wish to thank the President Bruno Costa for the kind invitation.

Overseas News

Operation takes down over 33,600 Internet Domains selling counterfeit goods

As part of an international operation, Europol's Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPc3) has seized 33.654 domain names distributing counterfeit and pirated items online.

The websites featured items such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, pirated films, television programs, music, software, electronics and other bogus products. The joint international operation also involved the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre 1 and law enforcement authorities from 26 countries including EU Member States and third parties 2, which was facilitated by INTERPOL
The Operation  is a continuation of a recurrent joint global operation, which was launched in 2014 and has since significantly increased. The ninth edition of this worldwide operation in 2018 saw an even larger range of anti-counterfeiting associations, brand owner representatives and law enforcement authorities taking part to facilitate international cooperation and support the countries involved in this initiative.

This year's operation IOS IX has seen a remarkable increase from the previous edition, where 20 520 domain names were seized as they were illegally trading counterfeit merchandise online.

This is a result of Europol's comprehensive approach to make the internet a safer place for consumers by encouraging more countries and private-sector partners to participate in this operation and provide referrals.

In addition to the seized domain names, officials also arrested 12 suspects, blocked hardware devices, identified and froze more than EUR 1 million in several bank accounts, online payment platforms and a virtual currency farm used by the organised criminal groups.

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 today 6th December 2018.

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  30th December.  

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



6th December 2018