As per the constitution of India, the dual citizenship is now allowed, but despite of that many of the Goans are running after the Portuguese passport, in the hope of acquiring a brighter future out of their comfortable homes. Unfortunately, not all achieve success in their endeavours. The indefinite numbers of Goans that have moved to the UK are immense, these Goans after gaining Portuguese citizenship mainly settle down in London, Swindon and Leicester, not only do they leave to the UK but also leave for gaining employment in the UAE.
There is no proper paperwork put together yet many Goans try and find the loophole to get their citizenship in Portugal to get to the EU countries. But in all this, the Goans do not realize that there are many traps that they could fall into and later get stuck in a foreign country, with the false Portuguese passport.
The story of a Goan village boy who went to Saudi in search of a job as a driver but to his surprise he landed in a desert and later found himself working as a camel herder. The local daily Navhind Times had come out with the story of Sameer Naik which was later covered up by Goa Prism.
According to them Naik who was forced to work as a camel herder after he was stripped off his passport, mobile phone, and documents. He was also beaten up by his employer who then forced him in working in adverse conditions as a camel herder.
The victim’s brother said that his brother was promised a job of a driver in Saudi Arabia by one Siraj Ansari, an agent from a Mumbai based overseas recruitment company N S Enterprises. Later after his brother left for Saudi he was kept in Hyderabad by the agent on the pretext that there were other Indians who were to come onboard to Riyadh.
After the complaint lodged with the Embassy of India in Saudi Arabia, the communication was initiated with the office of M/s Armex Travels in Mumbai with a copy marked as ‘most immediate’ forwarded to the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Mumbai based office of the Protector of Emigrants.
Also adding the Embassy has directed the travel agency to bring back Sammer to India bearing all his Visa and travel expenses, within 15 days, failing of which the matter will be taken up by the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
The issue of having a bright future does not end here, another incident where an Indian was arrested in Leicester, United Kingdom, suspected of document forgery crimes and aiding illegal immigration, wanted in connection with a European arrest warrant issued by the Portuguese authorities.
The investigation, called “Magic Book”, was initiated following the detection of Portuguese passport holders who were trying to enter the UK, US, and Canada. This investigation dismantled a criminal organization that was dedicated to the fraudulent acquisition of Portuguese nationality for Indian nationals purporting to be born in the former Portuguese territories in India, i.e. Goa, Daman, and Diu.
After several months of investigation and collection of evidence in Portugal, the search and arrest were carried out wherein three suspects were into the custody and seven other defendants were recorded. This incident occurred back in 2015.
Fraud operations continue to run wherein operators acquire illegal Portuguese passports for their clients gaining them access into Portugal with fake documentation. Four members of the group that facilitated the acquisition of Portuguese nationality through fraudulent paperwork and links to the former Portuguese colony of Goa Daman and Diu have been jailed in Lisbon following a major international operation.
Under the Portuguese citizenship law, those who were born in the Portuguese colonies prior to December 19, 1961, when India liberated Goa from the Portuguese rule, were made eligible to apply for the Portuguese citizenship. The facility later extended to their children and grandchildren which has been taken up by thousands of people from the former colony in recent years.
An operation which was launched back in 2013 called Livro Mágico (Magic Book) spanning India, Portugal, the United Kingdom Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mozambique, Principe and Cape Verde. Acquiring Portuguese nationalities to allow Indians to migrate to Europe and settle down.
The facility allowed fraudulent networks to emerge. According to SEF, Portugal’s Immigration and Borders Service, the four members of the ring are citizens of India and Mozambique, which were later given jail time of duration between three and six years following series of the raid in several countries including Leicester in the United Kingdom.
The fraudulently acquired birth certificates allowed the ‘client’ to prove a connection with Portugal that eventually grants them citizenship. The ring reportedly charged nearly 30,000 Euros per person, allowing entire families to avail of its fraudulent services.
The action of the defendants aimed at rising Indian clients to pay monetary amounts in order to obtain Portuguese nationality. The network would provide false documentation which included the birth certificate from Goa, Daman, and Diu.
According to the office for National Statistics in Britain, there were 28,000 India-born UK residents with Portuguese nationality in 2017. However, reports in the Portuguese media may suggest the figures could be more or twice the figures mentioned.
The investigation began when after information was received from US, Canadian and UK authorities, who reported the arrival of a large number of Portuguese citizens of Indian origin. Many of them had already requested visas to these countries under their true identity.
In the charged immigration discourse, there are demands that the British government stops what is called a “loophole” that allows Goans to acquire Portuguese citizenship and move here instead of Portugal.
Among the documentation, there was abundant evidence that all those who had acquired Portuguese nationality had identities different from those with which they fraudulently applied to claim Portuguese nationality It was proved that the defendants organized themselves with the objective of obtaining economic profits with the processing and instruction of requests for Portuguese citizenship by citizens of Indian-origin.
As Portuguese and now EU citizen, the Goans are now part of the ongoing Brexit discourse on the continued stay of EU citizens after Britain leaves the European Union which is expected by March 2019. The recent update suggests that those who arrive by that date will be allowed the indefinite stay.