Illegal immigration network dismantled

A NETWORK of people with links to Moldavia, thought to be facilitating illegal immigration by selling counterfeit work contracts in the Algarve, was dismantled this week by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), the office for foreigners and border control.

Of the 14 people arrested, six are Portuguese, of whom five are owners of civil construction companies and one is a civil servant. The other detainees were from Eastern European countries, the majority from Moldavia.

The leader of the network, a Moldavian aged around 40, was also caught amid the operation, which involved 20 raids on private houses. During the operation, the SEF seized five cars, 11,000 euros in cash, a gun and computers that were allegedly being used to produce fraudulent work contracts.