13 arrested in major drug bust in Algarve and Lisbon
Photo: INÊS LOPES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

13 arrested in major drug bust in Algarve and Lisbon

PSP police have dismantled a “well-organised” drug trafficking network which sold drugs at several nightlife spots in Portimão and Lagos – as well as the large summer festivals held at Praia da Rocha last summer.

Thirteen people – 11 men and two women, aged from 21 to 66 – were arrested, while 14 others were named official suspects (arguidos) on drug trafficking and possession of forbidden firearms charges.

Over four kilos of drugs were seized, including 6,775 doses of ecstasy, 5,868 doses of hashish, 1,809 doses of cocaine, 512 doses of marijuana and 425 doses of heroine.

PSP police also confiscated a variety of drug-dealing items, four firearms, over €28,000 in cash and 185 munitions.

Although firearms were seized, Portimão PSP commissioner Fábio Coelho told reporters after the operation that there are no reports that those arrested ever displayed violent behaviour. They were due to appear in court as the Resident went to press.

The investigation had been underway for around a year and culminated in a 20-hour-long operation which included 32 searches in Portimão, Lagos, Olhão and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, including 25 house searches.

Commissioner Coelho added that each person within the drug trafficking network had “a clear role”, from the leaders to those who sold and transported the drugs.

The police force said in a statement that several pieces of evidence were found that suggest that the suspects are frequent drug traffickers, selling the drugs “directly to the consumer” at nightlife spots and festivals around the Algarve.

The investigation was led by PSP Portimão and Lagos criminal investigation squads under the direction of Portimão’s Public Prosecutor’s Office, and was supported by several other PSP police teams across the Algarve, as well as GNR police.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com