An official at the Portuguese consulate in Bissau was arrested Sunday at Lisbon airport on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings and has been in custody since Monday for illegal visa issuance.
The case is a secret of justice and the investigation continues but the Portuguese official is indicted for crimes of passive corruption, human trafficking, falsification and counterfeiting of documents, computer falsity and aid to illegal emigration.
He was arrested in Lisbon last Sunday (22/12) as part of the Visa White operation launched by the Portuguese Foreign and Border Service (SEF) in the company of a non-Portuguese Guinean lady whose passport had been seized by the suspect. , which led the Portuguese authorities to suspect a crime of human trafficking, currently under investigation.
During the investigation and searches at the Portuguese consulate in Bissau and at the suspect's residence, 209 visa stickers were seized, which had been processed since 2012 by the now-detained official and were suspected of being sold to large amounts to intended to enter the Schengen space.
The suspect was seizing blank visa stickers and computer-simulating the issuance of stickers for Guinean citizens' visa applications, which he then annulled, then issuing new visas to applicants and taking over the canceled ones, still unfilled, which were then illegally filled and sold.
It all started about a year ago when seven Iranian citizens with Portuguese visas were detained at Frankfurt Airport in passports that the authorities suspected were fraudulently obtained.
The SEF made these seizures under the coordination of the Lisbon Department of Criminal Investigation and Action (DIAP) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is recalled that in December 2013 the forced embarkation in Bissau of 74 Syrian passengers – 21 children, 15 women and 38 men – with fake Turkish passports on a TAP flight bound for Lisbon, caused the suspension of the air link between the two capitals by “Serious breach of security conditions”.
Since then SEF officials have regularly checked Bissau-Lisbon flights before boarding passengers.