Criminal Police arrested 12 people for alleged corruption in Social Security

  • ECO News
  • 27 June 2017

Criminal Police made searches in Lisbon's Social Security Institute. Twelve people were arrested for suspicions of corruption, misuse of power and forgery.

The headquarters of the Social Security Institute in Lisbon was searched this Tuesday. The Portuguese Criminal Police (PJ) made 12 arrests, including six Social Security employees. The searches were made because of suspicions of the crimes of passive and active corruption, misuse of power, document and computer forgery.

It was the Institute itself which revealed the searches: “The Institute of Social Security informs that following a complaint lodged by the Institute’s own initiative, searches have been made in Lisbon in order to collect evidences”. The complaint results from “internal detection practices for internal fraud developed within their Prevention Plan for Corruption and Related Offences Risks”, classifying the incident as “isolated”.

The Criminal Police stated that six employees and six foreign citizens from Western Asia were taken into custody. The alleged crimes for the arrest were passive and active corruption, misuse of power, documents and computer forgery. The operation concerns a legalization scheme of illegal immigrants coming from the Western Asia.

According to the PJ, the ‘modus operandi’ consisted on manipulating Social Security’s IT system by creating and changing registrations from the data base, giving those foreign citizens an illicit social security number, in exchange for hundreds of thousands euros.