Raid on ‘illegal restaurant’ sees diners in Portugal dive into flooded storm drain

A police raid on a restaurant in Camarate (near Lisbon) saw clients try to make their escape by diving down a flooded storm drain.

The idea, say reports, was to exit the drain where it came out at the Trancão river.

But agents were persistent. They went in after the ‘fugitives’, eventually finding them all “very wet” but otherwise unharmed.

Thus caught ‘in flagrante’ inside the drain, there was no option than to file out dejectedly.

The clients – all apparently part of a social club – refused medical assistance offered by local firefighters (called to get them out of the drain in case they had become stuck), and have been fined.

Say reports, the incident played out after police realised people were inside the closed restaurant because they could hear their voices.

It’s not explained if agents were called to the scene due to a tip-off, or whether they were simply passing by. But “after various attempts to talk to the owner of the establishment as well as the clients inside”, agents realised an escape through the back was underway.

A source told Jornal de Notícias: “Suddenly the clients started running in the direction of the storm drain”. 

The tunnel “had a considerable extension making it impossible to see inside beyond 10 metres”. It was dark, too, and with various bends.

“The police called the infractors, but did not receive a reply”, the paper adds.

It was here that concerns were raised for the fugitives’ safety and thus volunteer firefighters were called.

The two police agents then went into the drain – the result being that all concerned emerged some time later very wet.

The whole idea of confinement, beyond saving people from becoming infected with the virus, or spreading it, is to reduce the need for authorities to respond to ‘unnecessary emergencies’. This definitely constituted an unnecessary emergency.

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