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Authorities swoop on suspected nationality scam run out of Portuguese embassy in Brazil

Around 10 people, Portuguese and Brazilian, have been made official suspects in the investigation into suspected corruption at the Consulate General of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro. The investigation involves an alleged scheme to unlawfully legalise documents to obtain Portuguese nationality. A source for PJ judicial police tells Lusa that search and seizure warrants – and the constitution of official suspects – were carried out both by the PJ in Portugal and by the Federal Police in Brazil, following a letter rogatory request from the Portuguese authorities. The investigation began with a complaint that led to the opening of two criminal investigations, one last year, the other this. The PJ source revealed that during the investigation it was discovered that several Brazilian citizens arriving in Portugal with a “clean record” had in fact got criminal records. Thus, inquiries centre on the crimes of passive and active corruption, economic participation in business, embezzlement, illegitimate access, usurpation of functions, bribery, falsification of documents and abuse of power.