Turmoil in Portugal Golden Visas feared, as former Chinese convict is investigated


Authorities in Portugal are investigating the Golden Visa given to Chinese citizen and ex-convict Feng Shen, who is accused of using false professional credentials to swindle both Portuguese and Chinese nationals.

Shen´s process is being reviewed by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), on suspicion of having used false identities and handed over forged documents to obtain a golden visa in Portugal, according to CL Brief sources.

SEF has confirmed the opening of the investigation, following an anonymous complaint filed with the Central Directorate of Investigation of the SEF. “Steps were taken to determine the content of the complaint and the compliance of the procedures adopted with the applicable rules”, the service says.

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SEF also confirmed that Shen holds a residence permit for investment activity granted in October 2018 and valid until January 2023, in compliance with legal requirements, namely regarding the “documentation issued by the competent Portuguese consular representations”.

Using his Golden Visa and presenting himself as a representative of a department of the United Nations, Shen presented himself as a “facilitator” in both countries, including in real estate deals, receiving ammounts from Portuguese and Chinese citizens reaching “millions”, sources say.

CL Brief sources add Shen is a resident in Hainan Province, China, and claims to be the adopted son of Juntao Shen, who was one of the founding generals of the People’s Republic of China.  He obtained a large number of franchise fees from the affiliated agencies all over the country, as well as illegally got money by defrauding people and established a Club of Ambassadors in September 2020, in Beijing, claiming to have close relations with ambassadors worldwide.

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He was the legal representative (Executive) of the Hainan Puhua Deyuan Investment Company Ltd, the legal representative (shareholding 60%) of the Hainan Shenfeng Tourism and Development Company, as well as the president of the Qionghai International Club of Tourism and Spaceflight Company Ltd.

According to NOVO newspaper, Shen´s criminal record included several criminal convictions, which were undeclared in his application. Instead, he presented a fake certificate from a Chinese notary claiming that he had no criminal record, Portuguese authorities believe.

In 2000 he was allegedly convicted of illegal fundraising in Zunyi, Guizhou province; in 2007 and 2008, in the same province, for crimes of illegal fundraising and fraud; and the last one, in 2011, for exactly the same two crimes, NOVO added. In Portugal, these crimes are punished with a prison sentence of more than one year.

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Among the Sino-Portuguese business community active in real estate and Golden Visa deals the case is a source of concern, as possibly causing turmoil.

“Portugal and China have had good diplomatic relations for a long time. This case makes us realize that the Portuguese and Chinese police authorities should strengthen their cooperation. With closer cooperation, all the criminals will be arrested and punished by law”, a source told CL Brief.


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