A total of 17 people have been detected attempting to reach Portugal in an unlawful way since July 22, when the country’s government decided to reinstate border controls with Spain ahead of World Youth Day, which will be held in Lisbon between August 1 and 6.
According to Portugal News report, among the detected people was also a foreign woman who flew to Guinea Bissau accompanied by 11 children.
“The female suspect was travelling with 11 children, alleging she was the mother of one of them, for whom she presented border guards with a document which belonged to her real daughter, with whom the child presented physiognomic similarities,” the statement provided by Portugal’s Foreigners and Border Service (SEF) pointed out.
The decision of Portugal to maintain effective border controls with its neighboring country Spain was announced by SEF, while the agency stressed that the rule will be kept in place until August 7, carried by SEF with the assistance of the Public Security Police (PSP) as well as the National Republican Guard (GNR).
“Given the complexity of the event and the need to guarantee internal security, the Government understood that it was necessary to reintroduce documentary control at land borders,” SEF announced through a Twitter statement, mentioning 21 border posts where the controls would be reintroduced.
Through a joint statement, the National Republican Guard, together with SEF and PSP, revealed that through the country’s airports, a total of 74,341 passengers were inspected, of them 5,234 from Schengen Zone countries, who reached Portugal on 463 controlled flights (of them three departed from Schengen Zone countries) on July 22.
The same source noted that at land borders, nearly 3,000 people were checked, also taking into account 1080 vehicles and a train.
Entry denials mainly took place at ground control, with a total of 15 people being banned from entering the country by authorities, while at air borders, two people were banned from reaching Portugal.
SEF provided no data regarding the number of people who reached Portugal by sea. The agency also announced that two people were arrested; one for document fraud and unlawful stay at Faro airport and another for suspicion of human trafficking. In addition, the GNR stressed that at the borders, it mobilised a total of 159 soldiers in 13 inspection operations.
A similar decision to reintroduce border controls took authorities in Lithuania earlier this month while stressing that due to the NATO summit, border controls would take effect on July 11 and would remain effective for one week.