Border police “alarmed by Iranians using Portugal as gateway to London”

Two separate detentions of Iranians using fake passports and attempting to pass through Portugal en-route to London, UK, have “alarmed” SEF border police, writes Diário de Notícias today. The arrests took place in Porto and Faro, Algarve, this week and last.

Since the Paris terror attacks, Portugal’s border controls have been tightened to the extent that 8,500 people have been identified in “actions of prevention”, said the paper.

But it has been the three Iranians that most stood out from the crowd – and whose passage is still being blocked, pending further investigations.

The single man identified at Faro airport on Monday was in possession of a false Romanian passport, and claimed to be on his way to London to work.

Just as the couple detained last week in Porto told police, he said he was using false papers as they allowed easier travel through Europe.

The couple detained in Porto – a man aged 34 and a 25-year-old woman – had been trying to pass through to a UK-bound flight using false Greek passports.

They told the authorities that they had arrived in Porto overland from Paris after the terrorist attacks on November 13. They claimed “tight checks” being made by French police had forced them to resort to using false identities.

How true these stories are and what SEF plans to do about them is yet to be decided.

Of the 8500 people identified at Portugal’s borders since the Paris massacres, 106 have been found to be in “irregular situations” and 64 have been ordered to leave the country, adds DN.

There have been 10 further arrests, four ‘readmissions’ to Spain (people not allowed into Portugal), and nine cases opened involving the employment of ‘illegal’ aliens.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com