The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported this Thursday that investigations are underway by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) into the case of the alleged illicit operation of “Chinese police stations” in Portugal.
“The existence of investigations is confirmed, directed by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP)”, the PGR replied to SIC regarding the case publicly denounced by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Safeguard Defenders and which took the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Initiative (IL) to raise the issue in parliament, in the presence of the prime minister.
The DCIAP is the department of the Public Ministry that investigates the most serious, complex and sophisticated organized crime.
In the report released in September, the NGO Safeguard Defenders accused Beijing of maintaining half a hundred “police service centers” in several countries, which allegedly persuaded 230,000 alleged fugitives to return to China between April 2021 and July 2022. illegal” would work in Portugal, according to the Madrid-based NGO.
The Safeguard Defenders report was released in Portugal by the leader of the IL, João Cotrim Figueiredo, at the end of September, during a debate in the Assembly of the Republic.
On the occasion, Cotrim Figueiredo asked the Prime Minister if he knew of the existence of such Chinese police structures in Portugal, and António Costa replied that he did not know and suggested that the IL leader inform the PGR, that is, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is in charge of the criminal action.
However, China has already rejected accusations that it has created 50 “police service centers” in several countries to control dissidents, including Portugal.
At a regular press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin argued on Wednesday that the structures “are actually service centers for Chinese overseas.”
The centers serve to support “a large number of Chinese citizens” who are unable to return to China due to the covid-19 pandemic, for example, in the renewal of Chinese driving licenses, Wang said.
The spokesperson added that the Chinese authorities are “fully committed to fighting transnational crimes in accordance with the law, strictly observing international law and fully respecting the judicial sovereignty of other countries.”