Photo : Fundasaun Mahein
Fundasaun Mahein (FM), 5 October 2023
On 2 October 2023, the Hatutan media website published an important news item describing accusations made regarding the conduct of the leadership of the Scientific and Criminal Investigation Police (PCIC). According to the Hatutan article, this information was obtained from a “protest letter from inside PCIC”, which described suspicion of involvement in crimes, abuses of power and irregularities on the part of PCIC leadership, including the following:
- Suspicion that several individuals do not meet the requirements of Decree-Law N.o 15/2014, as they have only completed secondary education, but were appointed to leadership positions within PCIC since 2015 and continuing until 2025;
- Suspicion that PCIC personnel committed crimes which have been registered with the Public Prosecutor and Anti-Corruption Commission, in which the parties have been accused of aggravated fraud due to receiving money from victims (around $700), as well as abuse of power due to using PCIC’s offices to resolve private cases which were closed or frozen;
- Discrimination by PCIC leadership regarding training provided to specialists and investigators by delegating personnel with personal ties to leadership to attend training abroad;
- Suspicion of use of power to obtain from certain trusted persons within PCIC training for the son of a PCIC executive in use of PCIC firearms, including practicing shooting in the PCIC shooting range iha Kaiteha, Liquiçá Municipality;
- Suspicion that arms were used to threaten another PCIC member in relation to relationship problems, and when the victim submitted a complaint to PCIC leadership, no measures were taken as the individual concerned was a trusted person of PCIC leadership;
- Suspicion that several persons in leadership positions within PCIC caused loss of State vehicles, but this issue was kept in the leadership’s “drawer”;
- In February 2023, a person in a leadership position received a two-month suspension from the Court, but the PCIC leadership continued to promote this person to exercise his function as a leader within PCIC, even though the Committee on Public Functioning and Minister of Justice Tiago Sarmento did not approve this, as public servants who have received disciplinary sanctions cannot receive promotions;
- Suspicion that a love affair involving certain leadership personnel within PCIC led to a physical altercation inside PCIC headquarters which caused two windows to be broken. The case also involved illegal use of force by the PCIC member, when arms were used to threaten the woman’s family. It is suspected that PCIC superiors closed the case or did not open a disciplinary process as the two people involved in the affair are trusted persons of the PCIC leadership.
Although FM cannot fully confirm all information and accusations described in the letter, in recent years FM has also heard and observed directly several irregularities involving PCIC members and the functioning of the institution. According to FM’s observations, some of the incidents mentioned above occurred due to various factors related to PCIC’s leadership, including its inability to implement laws and regulations and discriminating towards members based on personnel relationships.
Therefore, FM asks the Government to immediately conduct a thorough investigation in order to confirm – or disprove – all accusations related to crimes, abuse of power and other irregularities. Through this process, the Government can create a comprehensive program for reforming PCIC with the objective of strengthening its capacity to prevent, detect and investigate crimes.
- FM recommends to the National Parliament to create a special committee to investigate the cases involved PCIC superiors and accelerate the process of reforming PCIC, which falls under the responsibility of the National Parliament as per the Law on Criminal Investigation.
- Based on the results of this investigation, the Government can create a comprehensive plan for reformation of PCIC, as a principal program during the first 120 days of the IX Government’s mandate.
- FM recommends to the Prosecutor-General of the Republic, as the oversight body of the functioning of the criminal police organs, to oversee, inspect and inquire into the suspected involvement of PCIC superiors and members in cases of aggravated fraud, abuse of power and other irregularities alleged to have occurred within PCIC.
To obtain further information about this issue, please contact:
Fundasaun Mahein (FM)
Telemóvel: (+670) 75771766