By Chris King •
Published: 14 Jul 2023 • 1:36
Image of drugs seized in Portugal.
More than two tons of drugs were seized and 21 people arrested after a joint operation involving Portuguese and Spanish police forces.
As reported in a statement by Portugals’ Policia Judiciaria on Thursday, July 13, an investigation was launched jointly with Spain’s National Police Force. Its aim was to combat a criminal organisation suspected of international drug trafficking.
In September 2022, a heavy goods transport vehicle from Portugal was inspected in French territory. During the search, the authorities of that country found and seized about 485 kg of hashish that was hidden in the loading area.
This situation drew the attention of the Judiciary Police. Through the Directorate of the North, the force initiated an investigation with the aim of understanding the true dimension of the criminal network and identifying possible suspects in the national territory.
The investigation revealed evidence of the existence of a criminal group in Portugal. They were suspected of providing important drug trafficking networks in Spain with a transport service for large amounts of narcotic products which were subsequently distributed to other countries in central Europe.
Realizing how this organisation operated, the Judiciary Police shared the information with the National Police Corps of Spain. They requested surveillance of a lorry that, leaving Portugal with legal goods, was on its way to a warehouse in southern Spain.
The Spanish authorities monitored the heavy vehicle and, at the opportune moment, subjected it to an inspection. Their search uncovered several bales of hashish weighing more than one ton and the driver was detained as a result.
A search of the warehouse where the heavy goods vehicle had just visited produced more bales of cannabis resin. This cache also weighed more than one ton and 14 individuals were caught red-handed.
Once their suspicions were confirmed, the Judiciary Police proceeded with searches and arrests in the national territory. They targeted those mainly responsible for the narcotics transport network.
This was carried out in collaboration with the National Republican Guard (GNR), which was investigating some of the suspects for committing other crimes, in compliance with six arrest warrants.
The three people suspected of leading this network were present at the first judicial interrogation, having been given preventive detention.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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