Drug runner caught after six-year search

A major drug dealer who was convicted by the courts but jumped parole on a prison sentence and then went underground for six years was spotted in a street in Vilamoura and arrested by police.

The detained man, aged 51, had been found guilty of the possession of four tons of hashish, which he and his brother had been transporting to Holland and Spain.

He was sentenced to eight years and his brother gotseven years.

The drug dealer had been released on parole after serving two years in prison but then absconded and lived under an assumed identity with falsified documents in Vilamoura. During this time, police were unable to carry out arrest warrants as his whereabouts and identity were unknown.

The two brothers owned a lorry transport company which enabled them to transport large quantities of drugs abroad.

According to a report in Correio da Manhã newspaper, the brothers first came to the attention of the police when they led the road blockage of the Abril 25 Lisbon Bridge in 1994 which was organised as a protest against increased tolls.