Two men were caught red-handed
Two men were arrested after being caught trying to steal high-speed boats which were moored at the dock of the Vila Real de Santo António Coastal Control Substation, GNR police announced on Monday.
The strange ordeal happened at around 4am after the two foreign men, 23 and 24, were spotted by GNR agents.
Wearing hoodies, the daring duo were able to infiltrate the fenced docks and board the two speedboats, used by GNR’s Coastal Control Unit.
Says the police force, the men were “equipped with tools” and immediately made their way to the boats’ motors and ignition to try to turn them on and make their escape.
However, the “quick intervention of the unit’s agents” led to the arrest of the two suspects, one of whom surrendered immediately while the other tried to escape by diving into the water, having been caught shortly after near the docks.
The police force adds that there are “strong suspicions” that the two men are linked to other similar attempts to steal GNR speedboats.
“Since the start of 2023, GNR has detected three attempts to steal boats, having led to the arrest of three people. These attempts are largely related to the Coastal Control Unit’s intervention in the fight against maritime-based international drug trafficking, which since the start of the year has led to the seizing of six speedboats and around five tons of hashish,” the police force says.
In recent months, maritime authorities have intensified patrols and surveillance of the southern coast of Portugal after detecting that this area was being used by drug trafficking networks to transport drugs ashore using high-speed boats.
Maritime authorities have also been the target of thefts of high-speed boats, such as was the case in November 2022 in Vila Real de Santo António, where the stolen boat has not yet been recovered, or the case reported at the beginning of last week in Faro. However, GNR have declined to provide more details about these cases as they are under investigation.