A massive guns and cash seizure by Scottish police last week is believed to belong to a ‘mafioso trafficking gang’, operating from “somewhere in the Algarve”, reports Correio da Manhã this morning.
Following up on a series of stories by the Scottish Daily Record, CM explains that the gang’s leaders “took refuge” in Portugal many years ago as a result of “a war between rival gangs for the control of drug-trafficking and guns in Glasgow and Edinburgh”.
The move has not meant that they stopped operating, the paper stresses.
Indeed, the cartel is believed to “move millions of pounds of drugs from Europe to the UK”, writes Daily Record reporter Mark McGivern.
Thus, as Scottish police get down to interrogating the four men arrested following a tip-off that ultimately revealed €1.8 million in cash, a grenade and a “horrific” cache of Heckler and Koch MP5 machine guns, investigations “could now pass to Portugal”, says CM – stressing that Scottish authorities have no doubts over who is running operations from the Algarve, but for legal reasons are unable to reveal their identities.
For the time being, the crimelords are simply dubbed “The Brothers”.
One of the men rounded up in the Scottish police ‘bust’ was Mark Richardson, described by the Daily Record as a “cocaine kingpin”.
The inference throughout the Record’s stories is that Richardson may have vital information that could lead to further arrests and the honing in on operations in Portugal.
The Scottish paper explains that Heckler and Koch MP5s “offer such ferocious firepower that they have been used by the SAS and other special forces units around the world.
“Sixteen such guns could cause terrifying destruction in the wrong hands. The seizure is a major coup for Police Scotland’s elite Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit”.
CM adds somewhat obliquely that the presence in southern Europe of “elements connected to organised crime in Great Britain” has been “recurrent in recent years” – with the number of “associated crimes also increasing”.
A source has told the Daily Record that the loss of €1.8 million in cash will be “a blow” to the gang, but seen very much as “an occupational hazard”.
Photo: Daily Record’s compilation of images showing stash uncovered in Glasgow