Raids that began almost a year ago, rounding up ‘Hells Angels’ bikers and members of a rival gang, have resulted in 89 people being charged with crimes including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, extortion and drug trafficking.
In a statement released yesterday (Thursday), the Attorney General’s office said the accused “tried to kill four people” after bursting into a restaurant in Loures, near Lisbon, last year armed with knives, axes and batons.
The restaurant was destroyed in the attack.
Three bikers were admitted to hospital in a critical condition (after being stabbed in vital organs) while six others were seriously injured.
Reports coming out at the time – describing the incident as an attack on a rival gang as part of a turf war for control of illicit guns and drug trade – said at least three of the injured were German nationals.
Indeed, other nationalities involved have been cited as Brits, Swedes, Romanians and Dutch.
The incident sparked a major police inquiry involving as many as 400 detectives deployed across the country. A number of operations went ahead in the Algarve.
Indeed the first wave of arrests was organised ahead of the summer Faro bikers’ concentration, to ensure further trouble would be avoided (click here).
For now, the charges see defendants cited for qualified attempted murder, criminal association, extortion (over nightclub security), criminal damage, theft, drug trafficking and possession of illegal weapons.
Two of the victims have had to hand into authorities their bikes, jackets, helmets and visors, writes Correio da Manhã tabloid today.
They are apparently accused of a retaliatory attack in June last year where they used knuckle dusters on “another man”, punching him in “the face, head, trunk, arms and legs” says the paper.
Two of those facing charges are currently in Germany – awaiting a ruling on Portugal’s extradition requests. 37 are in pre-trial detention and a further five are fitted with electronic bracelets, banned from leaving their homes.
Those not bound by house-arrest orders are “in the main” banned from attending any biker events, adds CM.
International sources meantime have commented on how “the Hells Angels gang is relatively new in Portugal”, having only become established since 2002.