Fighting organized crime in Portugal
Portugal is on the Iberian Peninsula at the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Its location on shipping routes between Africa, Europe and the Americas makes the region a busy transit area for both legal and illegal business.
Given that Illegal drugs are principally smuggled along these routes, law enforcement faces the additional challenges of the serious organized crime which comes with drugs, such as trafficking in firearms and people, money laundering and cybercrime.
The international characteristics of these crime types and their links with crime networks around the world make the role of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Portugal fundamental to maintaining national and regional security.
INTERPOL in Portugal
Portugal’s NCB plays a central role in preventing the country and surrounding region from serving international organized crime. By providing globally sourced intelligence about regional crime trends, the NCB helps police officers across Portugal detect and investigate the flow of illicit goods along trafficking routes in and around the country.
Portugal’s NCB plays a strong national role in tackling the serious crime areas which affect the country most as well as crimes against children, fugitive investigations and terrorism. It is a regular partner in INTERPOL-led global police operations in these areas.
The NCB is part of the national criminal police structure, called “Polícia Judiciária” or “PJ”. It is staffed by officers seconded by the PJ, National Gendarmerie, Public Security Police, and Immigration and Borders Services.
To boost national security and investigations, the NCB in Lisbon has given criminal police bodies in Portugal access to INTERPOL’s criminal databases enabling them to determine if a person is a potential security threat.
Law enforcement in Portugal
Law enforcement services in Portugal are provided by five different bodies:
- “Polícia Judiciária” (PJ) - Criminal Investigations Police - Ministry of Justice: prevention, detection and investigation of violent, organized and financial crime; terrorism; international police cooperation; forensic services; police training.
- “Guarda Nacional Republicana” (GNR) - National Gendarmerie
- “Policia de Segurança Publica” (PSP) - Public Security Police
- “Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras” (SEF) - Immigration and Borders Agency
- “Autoridade Tributária” (AT) - Customs and Tax Authority