Drug smugglers remanded in custody

Four men have been remanded in custody by Vila Real de Santo António court after being caught smuggling nearly four tonnes of hashish aboard a boat in the Guadiana River in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office requested and applied to the four suspects the measure of preventive detention,” says a statement published on the site of the Faro District Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the statement, the men are aged between 20 and 32 and are not Portuguese, although their nationality is not specified.

The arrest was made by the GNR Coastal Control Unit at around 4.50am on Thursday, near Cais das Laranjeiras, in Alcoutim, after the high-speed boat loaded with the drugs was detected heading up the River Guadiana.

The maritime team from the Vila Real de Santo António Coastal Control Sub-Detachment “sought to board the vessel”, which is 12 metres long and has three high-powered engines, but the crew, carrying 3,850 kilos of hashish, did not obey the order to stop and tried to flee.

As a result, the speedboat collided with the GNR boat, causing injuries to the four crew members – one of whom was taken to Faro Hospital.