Police arrest each other

A spate of arrests in Portugal’s Public Security Police and National Republican Guard has raised questions as to the seriousness of the institutions and damaged public confidence.

17 National Republican Guardsmen have been imprisoned on charges of corruption, while a further 20 have been identified and told to report to a police station on a regular basis. These were from the Traffic Brigade, accused of accepting bribes from motorists and altering police files.

No sooner had the case become public, than another opened in the northern city of Oporto, this time an investigation into the activities of members of the Public Security Police, amid suspicions of corruption. On Thursday, another investigation came to light in the eastern city of Portalegre, again on suspicion of corruption and theft.

Meanwhile in the north of Portugal, a National Republican Guardsman has been arrested for attempting to hold up a petrol station with a false pistol (he was arrested by his colleagues when he appeared at work because he had been recognised by the owner of the station) and a Brazilian Federal policeman has been arrested, also in Oporto, for a series of crimes including bank robbery and armed robbery on security vehicles transporting money.

As the Portuguese saying goes, “in the land of the blind, the one who sees is King”.


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