Record Algarve drug haul scoops 700 cannabis plants, cocaine, ecstasy and magic mushrooms

Faro GNR are celebrating their best drug bust of 2015 this week after a three-month-long investigation ended with the apprehension of nearly 700 cannabis plants, 11,395 doses of cocaine, 6.4 grams of “ecstasy” and over 8 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The drugs were all discovered in a house in the rural area of Almargens, near São Brás de Alportel, reports national tabloid Correio da Manhã.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested and identified as the man behind the operation.

News website Sulinformação claims he had set up a sophisticated drug laboratory, “of a kind never before seen in the Algarve region”.

The cannabis plantation found growing inside the property had “specimens at different stages of maturity”, varying in size from 5cms to 1.10m.

A GNR statement said agents discovered rooms equipped with “all the necessary elements for the controlled cultivation of plants”, including automatic irrigation systems, specialised illumination, ventilation, air-conditioning, precision scales, tiny packages and lots and lots of plant pots.

The haul, worth “many tens of thousands of euros”, led the GNR to believe their suspect had a “vast knowledge on the conception and construction of improvised nurseries, as well as on how to harvest, dry and prepare drugs for consumption”.

It was also the first time police had managed to round-up hallucinogenic mushrooms – better known in the trade as ‘magic mushrooms’. According to CM, some of those apprehended were in the early stages of germination, while others were packed up and ready for sale.

Said Captain Filipe Mendes: “This has been the largest drug apprehension in the Algarve this year.”

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com