An accountant has been arrested in Faro under suspicions of having aided illegal immigration and falsified documents, Portugal’s immigration and border authority (SEF) has announced.
The man is believed to be linked to several “ghost companies” which were detected and served to “simulate working relationships with citizens from Southeast Asia and South America”.
The operation, entitled ‘Operação Combustível’ (Operation Fuel), was launched in 2018 and was acted upon this week following a criminal case linked to application for consular visas at the Portuguese embassy in New Delhi which were thought to be “suspicious”.
Four search warrants were issued, one at the man’s home, another at an office and two in vehicles.
Apart from the man’s arrest, authorities also confiscated documentary evidence, a weapon, ammunition and a “substantial amount of money”.
The suspect was heard in court and has been released under the “Termo de Identidade e Residência” regime, meaning he is not allowed to leave his area of residence and must be available whenever notified by the authorities.
SEF continues to investigate in order to find more evidence of the ghost companies’ illegal activity.