Border control checks on 253,000 people as part of world youth day event

  • Lusa
  • 25 July 2023

On Monday alone, the immigration and borders service, SEF, checked more than 79,000 people at air borders.

The Portuguese authorities have checked more than 253,000 people since the start of the World Youth Day event (WYD) border controls, preventing 52 people from entering the country.

Documentary control at land, air and sea borders in the context of WYD came into force on Saturday and is being carried out in a selective and targeted manner based on information and risk analysis.

According to the operational balance made on Tuesday, in a statement, by the Internal Security System, in the first three days 18,640 people were checked at land borders, 229,078 passengers at air borders and 5,580 passengers and crew at sea borders.

On Monday alone, the immigration and borders service, SEF, checked more than 79,000 people at air borders.

As part of the operation, 52 people were refused entry, 34 of whom were trying to reach Portugal by land and 18 by air.

At the air borders, SEF checked 1,337 flights, the overwhelming majority originating outside the Schengen Area, made three arrests, two for document fraud and one of a national citizen with an arrest warrant issued and who was detained on arrival from Frankfurt. It also applied precautionary measures in 43 cases.

With 42 enforcement operations since Saturday, involving a total of 456 agents, the National Guard (GNR) enforced 31 offences in land border control, detected a crime, made four seizures and detained two people.

The information released today also indicates that the GNR controlled in the first three days of the replacement of documentary control at the borders 3,077 vehicles, four trains and eight boats.

SEF, on land borders, checked 2,840 vehicles and controlled 9,992 citizens, having in three cases applied precautionary measures.

At sea borders, SEF checked 266 vessels.

The information on Operation World Youth Day 2023 today includes information on the actions of the Public Security Police (PSP), which during the day on Monday made 75 arrests, 18 of which for driving without a licence, another 18 for drug trafficking, 10 for driving under the influence of alcohol, six for assaults and robberies and one for possession or trafficking of prohibited weapons.

The PSP seized a total of 13 weapons and 965 doses of narcotics and, in the context of road accidents, recorded 146 accidents.

The reinstatement of document checks at borders will remain active until 00:00 on 7 August and is “exceptional in order to safeguard possible threats to public order and internal security”, according to a government resolution.

Border control in the context of WYD, an event that will take place in Lisbon between 1 and 6 August and will be attended by Pope Francis, is in charge of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), with the assistance of the Public Security Police (PSP) and GNR, in addition to the possible collaboration of authorities from other countries.