Portuguese nationality is considered to be a door to EU Countries for the Goans. The geographical boundaries are not limited within Goa itself but it is spread across Daman and Diu that was the part of the Portuguese colonies during their 450 years of rule in India. Based on the most shocking revelation made by the Portuguese Counsel General Rui Carvalho Baceira, the Agent Mafia is making use of the forged documents to get the Portuguese nationality and he is not getting any support from the Indian authorities to stop such malpractices.
Mr. Baceira told the media that, he is really concerned about the illegalities going on to attain the Portuguese nationality in the country and there is no support whatsoever is coming from the local authorities to stop such malpractices. “I am really concerned but helpless in such a situation,” he said. According to Baceira, he is on the front to stop all the illegalities and use of the forged documents that people are making to attain the Portuguese nationality.
According to the sources, Mr. Baceira had arrived in Goa in the year 2014 and since then he has been personally monitoring the process of Portuguese nationality application and in his attempt to expose the Agent Mafia he has received the life-threatening calls. “The Mafia is operating within the system posing as an agent and the worst thing is they are not based in Goa but operating from Daman which was the part of Portuguese colonies in India,” he revealed.
According to the sources, the demand for the Portuguese nationality has not come down despite the BREXIT. “Though there was a 15% drop immediately after the voting later on it started growing back again and now 90% of the applicants like to go to the UK,” said Mr. Baceira.
Besides the new applicants from India, those who are working in the Gulf countries are also queuing up for the EU countries due to the higher wages earned by the EU passport holders. “Presently, the consulate processes seven applications for nationality in a month,” Baceira said adding that, The Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais in Lisbon handles 30. Over 4,100 persons traded Indian citizenship for Portuguese nationality in Goa last year.
According to the sources in the consulate, there are around there are around 17,000 applications have gone through the Goa mission since its setup in 1994 out of which around 14,000 had been cleared, but there is an estimation of about 10 times more had been routed directly through lawyers and agents to Lisbon.
The mafia which is operating from the Daman is known for sending hardly literate people to the UK. According to their modus operandi, once the candidates arrive at Heathrow, the agents take away their passports and held with them till they pay 5,000 euros, said Baceira. “What if one of these people turns out to be a terrorist?” he demanded.
According to the consulate, possibly the worst cases and the “real soap opera” in the consul’s description are the holders or the fake applications with the forged documents of stolen identities. “The consulate had uncovered three such cases in the last week. Such attempts are common in other former Portuguese colonies in Africa and Brazil as well.” According to the sources, an investigation into cases of fake documents and stolen identities takes up to two years time. “In the interim, the person continues to live happily in the EU country with his wife and children,” said Baceira. Portugal is “aware of the situation”, he said, adding the government plans to tighten the laws for the nationality process.
According to the article published in the Daily Mail, Twenty thousand Indians slipped into the UK with the help of Portuguese passport, who were these Indians, of course, people who were born in Goa, Daman, and Diu before 1961, their children and grandchildren. The Goans have been given this privilege by the Portuguese who left Goa in the year 1961 after ruling it for 450 years. The reports further stated that tens of thousands of Indian had legally become the citizens of Portugal that automatically enabled them to reach the UK. Portuguese law lets anyone born before 1961 in areas that were once Portuguese colonies to become EU residents. It has been claimed that more than half of the Goans lives in Swindon with the help of Portuguese passport.
There were several efforts by the central and state government to curb the dual nationality that is being enjoyed by the Goan at the moment but nothing concrete had been done in this direction as yet. Since the pay scales are very high in the EU countries it has become a most lucrative business of the Mafia which is operating from the outside of the state. Will the Portuguese Counsel be able to stop the mafia? what is your opinion on this serious issue? Please share your comments and suggestion.
IMAGE SOURCE: PORTUGAL RESIDENT