Photo by LUIS FORRA/LUSA
As part of a “major effort to detect, fight and dismantle organised criminal groups that are bringing cocaine into Europe”, Portuguese police have seized 1.15 tons of the drug hidden on a boat near Faial island in the Azores, authorities announced over the weekend. It was the largest seizure of its kind in the archipelago, and saw police round up five men aged from 29 to 54.
For the time being, the men’s nationalities have not been revealed. News24 website claims the five are due to be “brought before a judge”.
Portugal “frequently sees drug seizures as traffickers use the country’s long coastline as a maritime gateway into Europe”, says the site.
This latest seizure follows one off Sagres, in the Algarve in October when 600 kg was confiscated from a boat manned by two Ukrainians.
At the time, police estimated the value of the haul at €19 million.
On that basis, this makes the latest bust to have a value of almost twice that amount – €38 million.