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 Goans: Beware of this scam!
A special alert - directed at Goans
TGF - July 20, 2008



In December 1961, India invaded the former Portuguese territories of Goa, Damao e Diu and annexed them. As the citizens of these territories did not have the benefit of having received independence from Portugal, they were accorded the right to reaffirm/apply for their Portuguese nationality for up to 3 generations.[1]

It all appeared quite uncomplicated for many post 1961 years. A number of Goans who were more comfortable with the Portuguese language, culture, music, education and way of life, left Goa with a heavy heart and migrated to Portugal.

The interest in obtaining Portuguese nationality increased significantly after 1986 when Portugal became a member of the European Union. With easy access to the European opportunities market, many more Goans applied and migrated to Portugal and from there on to other parts of Europe.[2]

This avenue did not go unnoticed by those from other parts of India who were trying very hard to get to Europe by any means. These individuals or their agents went to the cemeteries, noted down the names of deceased Goans and stole their identity with the help of corrupt Indian  officials in Goa who issued them with bogus birth certificates for a fee.

Some of these crooks even stole the identities of living Goans.[3]

It is quite understandable that officials in Portugal would find it difficult to sift out real Goans from the fake ones. The Portuguese would also find it impossible to decide which of the applicants was actually from Damao & Diu and not from the neighbouring Indian State of Gujarat.

The sad fact is that these bogus "Goans" were allowed to slip through the vetting process and enter Europe. A well known Goan journalist noted that 'a lucrative racket enables bogus applicants to assume identities of deceased Goans to apply for Portuguese citizenship'[4]

The problem was exacerbated by the major influx of Indians from other States into Goa.  A number of these individuals have changed their names into Goan sounding names by way of affidavit.

Because of the uncertainty of the veracity of the birth certificates, Portugal just slowed down the processing of all applications for Portuguese nationality from Goa. This resulted in genuine Goan applicants being affected. [5]

This inordinate delay opened the door for two types of scam artists: the so called 'passport consultants' and the forgers.

The "passport consultants" promise to do the work directly in Lisbon for a fee of several thousand US dollars, payable in advance. What happens when the funds are paid, is anyone's guess. TGF believes that only a fool will give his funds to a total stranger.

A relatively new and blatantly operated scam has been reported from London. From the sound track which accompanies the video, it appears that a set of North Indians are specialising in all kinds of forged documents including Portuguese passports.[6] (Contains BBC video with audio)

TGF advises Goans NOT to take these shady routes. It is our submission that there is no guarantee that any document received from these "passport consultants" will be genuine. Being found to be in possession of fake documents will be more than a minor inconvenience especially at border control posts anywhere in the world.

TGF recommends that Goans in Goa deal directly with the Portuguese Consulate in Goa.

Goans traveling on Portuguese passports should also be mentally prepared to be stopped at border control posts and asked how they came to be in possession of a Portuguese passport when they are born in Goa. Many border control agents around the world are aware of Goa being a former Portuguese colony, some are not.

The fact that European countries do NOT trust Indian issued certificates should also be of concern to all Goans who wish to travel for further training or work experience abroad.

TGF
July 20, 2008

 

Please be advised: At the moment, the Conservatoria in Lisbon appears not to be processing any applications from individuals NOT in possession of genuine documentation issued to him/her by the pre-1961 Portuguese Government in Goa. This process has apparently been placed in situ to prevent applicants with forged documents from subverting the system. From all indications, it does not appear that the Conservatoria is likely to change this system any time soon.

 

References:

[1] http://www.colaco.net/1/PauloNationality.htm : Portuguese law is in their favour because they were invaded and they did not have their say in the matter


[2] http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/free_movement/index_en.htm : Free Movement of Workers and the Principle of Equal Treatment

[3] http://www.colaco.net/1/DeadMenFlying.htm

[4] http://www.colaco.net/1/TGFresponds2DevikaIdentityCrisis.htm

[5] http://www.colaco.net/1/TGFresponds2DevikaIdentityCrisis.htm : 'A huge international racket in granting Portuguese nationality under a clause meant only for persons from Goa, Daman and Diu has edged out genuine applicants from Goa' as per Eduardo Faleiro

[6] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7509735.stm

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