Two Colombian drug barons – jailed after being found in possession of 340 kilos of cocaine – have been released on a legal technicality and are now ‘long gone’ from Portuguese justice.
The duo was condemned to a combined 19 years in jail by an Almada court two years ago.
But thanks to the men’s appeal and a convoluted series of judicial hiccups, the amount of time they could legally be held in custody expired last month.
Their passports were returned to them on the understanding that the men would report regularly to their local police station (PSP). This they did not do.
According to media reports, the two traffickers are believed to have ‘abandoned Portugal’ – very possibly within hours of receiving their passports.
Macias Nieto and Edil Luna arrived in Portugal in 2012 – apparently “attracted by cocaine trafficking” – and were arrested in a combined police operation involving north american anti-drug agency DEA – in Costa de Caparica, south of Lisbon.
The pair had been in custody ever since as their court case and subsequent appeals were heard.