Tonnes of drugs seized in the Algarve

MORE THAN three tonnes of cannabis were seized by the GNR on Cavalo Preto beach at Quarteira in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The drugs, made up of 99 packs of cannabis and one pack of cannabis pollen and weighing a total of 3,183Kg, were seized along with a truck and a speed boat.

Two men, aged between 30 and 35 and of Moroccan and Bulgarian nationality, were arrested on the beach.

On November 13, the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) also arrested eight men and seized more than one tonne of cannabis as part of a joint operation with the Spanish authorities.

Five of the men arrested in operation Escorpião (scorpion) were Portuguese and the others Italian, French and Moroccan.

According to the PJ, all are between 30 and 60 and believed to be ringleaders of a European crime network.

Of the 1,300Kg of drugs seized, 33 packets was found inside a lorry that was preparing to travel to Spain, nine packets were recovered from a warehouse between Moncarapacho and Estói and another six from a car. A lorry, a car, money and mobile telephones were also seized. In a separate operation on November 11 and 12, maritime authority divers also recovered five packets of drugs, containing a total of 35kg of cannabis that had fallen into the sea near Balbina beach in Albufeira.

More than 50 tonnes of cannabis have been recovered by the authorities in Portugal so far this year, with more than five tonnes having been seized in the Algarve alone this month.

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