“Lack of coordination” marks police manhunt for Portugal’s “most-wanted-man”

After nine days in which the country’s police forces have singularly failed to catch Portugal’s most wanted man, the government has finally revealed that it is “concerned”.

Using language very carefully, Diário de Notícias talks of a “lack of coordination” between the PJ judicial police and the GNR.

“There have not even been meetings to define operational tactics”, sources tell the paper.

Experienced high-ranking officers in the nation’s three major forces (PJ, GNR and PSP) “do not understand how, faced with the gravity of the situation, a central command post or crisis centre has not been created where all police forces can exchange information and define strategies”.

A PSP source told the paper last (Wednesday) night that PJ detectives have actually left the force “in the dark”, even though it is responsible for the “urban areas of the region that is the target of current operations”.

As things stand today (Thursday), another massive mobilisation around three villages in Vila Real last night – tipped to be about to finally root out the fugitive Pedro Dias – failed in its objectives.

DN says that it “knows the minister for internal administration has not hidden her concern”.

The office of Constança Urbano de Sousa confirms that it calls the PJ daily, to “place at its disposition all the means and resources of police forces under its control. Apparently without visible result”.

Pedro Dias remains at large, described as “extremely dangerous” and “heavily armed”.

Last sighted on Sunday – when he gagged two people with recourse to a potato and a sock – it is now not certain how far Dias may have managed to travel from the original scene of the killings, described as the “Beira bloodbath” on October 11.

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Photo: Minister for internal administration Constança Urbano de Sousa is described as “concerned” by the lack of results