ASAE closes 11 local lodgings in Lisbon after operation against illegal immigration

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The Food and Economic Security Authority today closed 11 local accommodations in Lisbon and instituted six administrative offense proceedings, following the operation that dismantled a criminal illegal immigration organization operating in several European countries.

In a statement, the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) says that the main infractions detected had to do with “lack of registration, lack of hygiene conditions, the presence of pests, the lack of security conditions and protection measures, violation of personal data and capture and recording of images without proper authorization, among others”.

ASAE says it was part of the global joint operation coordinated by EUROJUST (the European Union agency for cooperation in criminal justice) and EUROPOL (the European Union agency for police cooperation), to “dismantle a criminal association responsible for the movement of illegal migrants in Europe”.

“As part of this operation, aimed at combating human trafficking and aiding illegal immigration, ASAE through its Southern Regional Unit, proceeded today to the inspection of more than a dozen local accommodations located in the city of Lisbon, where more than a hundred immigrants were housed, some of whom were in a situation of irregular stay in national territory “, says ASAE.

As a result of today’s operation, ASAE ordered the suspension of 11 local lodgings (LA) and opened six administrative offense proceedings.

ASAE also states that it will continue to carry out inspection actions “in favor of healthy and fair competition between economic operators, in safeguarding consumer safety and in verifying compliance with current regulations”.

Following this joint operation, the Judiciary Police, through the National Unit Against Terrorism, arrested on Monday six people in the Lisbon region, suspected of being part of a criminal organization encouraging illegal immigration, suspected of crimes of criminal association, trafficking in persons, aiding illegal immigration and forgery of documents.

Allegedly, this network brought immigrants to Portugal so that they could regularize their situation with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and obtain their residence permit, mostly using forged documents.

The PJ stresses that the police operation was developed in several phases, namely with the execution and fulfillment of 18 home search warrants and six arrest warrants issued by the Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DIAP) Lisbon, having this action focus on central Lisbon, Vila Franca de Xira and south bank of the Tagus.

ASAE closes 11 local lodgings in Lisbon after operation against illegal immigration

This operation involved 110 inspectors from the Judiciary Police, with the support of SEF and ASAE, as well as elements from the countries involved in this JIT (Joint Investigation Team).

The investigation was launched in Portugal in February 2022 and resulted from close cooperation with European judicial authorities, with EUROJUST, through a JIT, coordinating the different investigations, with the support of Europol.

The investigation, led by the Lisbon DIAP, identified 337 transports between Lisbon / Paris / Lisbon, with a total of more than 6000 illegal immigrants.

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