Police catch major Algarve drugs dealer

Criminal investigation police have finally tracked down and arrested a 40-year-old Swedish man suspected of being one of the chief suppliers of cannabis in the Algarve.

Since October, the man, normally based in Moncarapacho, had evaded detection by frequently moving around the country as well as abroad, employing clever camouflage and disguise.

Police caught up with him in Lisbon as he left a café in the Belém area of the city, sporting long hair and a beard, and in possession of an English-registered car illegally painted in a different colour, which had been stolen in Spain three years ago and containing false documents.

In raids on a number of houses in the Tavira region, police discovered that the drug was being cultivated in a poultry house which was guarded by two pit-bull dogs to deter strangers.

Inside was a trapdoor leading to an underground cave where a sophisticated system of light and irrigation was used.

A source from the GNR told the Algarve Resident: “Cannabis plants were grown using the hydroponics system (a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil) and a highly sophisticated structure beyond what has been seen so far. It was possible to verify the whole process of plantation, growth, drying and packaging of the drug.” The GNR officers found 2,000 doses of cannabis ready to be sold on the drugs market plus two dozen cannabis plants and sophisticated equipment used to refine the product.

His 45-year-old brother, also suspected of aiding and abetting, has also been detained and is in custody awaiting trial.

The accused men are in custody awaiting a criminal court appearance.