AN INTERNATIONAL drugs ring was broken recently in the Algarve, with the arrest of several Ukrainians described by police as “highly dangerous”.
The operation was carried out by the Faro Polícia Judiciária (PJ), in collaboration with Madrid police, who apprehended a vessel in Spanish waters carrying six tonnes of hashish.
In the course of 10 raids in Portugal, the PJ arrested 15 people and seized around 150 kilos of the drug, 14 vehicles, 60,000 euros in cash and weapons including pistols, machine guns, grenades and revolvers, which were found to be in the possession of individuals believed to be connected to the Ukrainian Mafia.
According to police sources, the drugs ring had a cellular structure, covered almost all the Algarve and possessed “a rigid internal organisation”. The ring is thought to have been operating between North Africa and Europe, with the drugs being transported by sea and often unloaded in Portuguese waters. The members of the ring operating in Portugal are believed to have transported the unloaded drugs by car into Spain.
• Read ‘Record cocaine haul’ on Portugal News section.