Violent crime intensifies debate over security .jpg

Violent crime intensifies debate over security


Two foreign couples have been violently robbed by organised gangs in the Algarve in recent weeks, with one British victim suffering a gunshot wound to the back.

In the most recent incident, a retired German couple were attacked and robbed in their villa near Loulé by four masked men on December 7.

A neighbour of the couple, who asked not to be named, told Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã: “We heard the dogs barking at around 1am on Monday. I saw the doors of the villa open and I found the couple tied up and bloodied. In fact, there was blood all over the house.”

It was reported that the wife had been hit on the head with a torch when she went downstairs to see why the dogs were barking, before being kicked while on the ground.

Her husband was also attacked when he went after her and suffered an injury to the head.

The couple were then tied up before the robbers demanded their credit cards and pin numbers.

A GNR spokesman confirmed to the Algarve Resident that several items were stolen from the property, including two televisions, a mobile telephone, a computer and the victims’ wallets.

“This crime is being investigated by the GNR. No suspects have yet been caught,” said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, a British man was shot in the back when he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint while on holiday in Albufeira on November 9.

The couple, who asked not to be named, are regular visitors to the Albufeira area and were walking along the EN526 road at 9.20pm when they were approached by four men. 

They contacted the Algarve Resident last week to tell their story. According to the woman, the men grabbed her handbag, containing a small amount of money, a mobile telephone and her driving licence, before shooting her husband in the lower back as he tried to help her and fleeing the scene in a black Volkswagen car. 

“We believe the men were waiting in a car and watched us walk down the road before approaching us. You never think something like this will ever happen to you,” said the woman.

Olhos d’Água GNR and an ambulance were called to the scene and the wounded man was taken to Albufeira health centre before later being transferred to Faro hospital for an x-ray.

This revealed that the bullet had penetrated so deep that it could not be removed as it would run the risk of the man’s leg being left paralysed.

The man was discharged from Faro hospital the following day.

Statements were taken by the Olhos d’Água GNR and also with the Polícia Judiciária in Faro.

A GNR spokesman told the Algarve Resident that the GNR are no longer investigating this crime as it involves a firearm and it has been passed on to the Polícia Judiciária.

 At present, the criminals are still at large.

“I have contacted the Mayor of Albufeira and the Junta de Freguesia. We even had the emails translated into Portuguese but have had no response. Something really needs to be done,” said the woman.


The couple have now returned to their home in the UK, where the husband has seen a medical specialist.

He has been told he may suffer pain for the rest of his life and has been prescribed morphine to control it.

“This hasn’t put us off returning to the Algarve. If we had gotten on a plane the next day, it would mean they have won,” said the woman.

A spokesman from Albufeira Câmara told the Algarve Resident that they have no record of any correspondence from the couple and the matter is not one for the council but for the police authorities.

The growing incidents of violent organised crime towards foreign residents and visitors to the region prompted the leader of the Algarve branch of the social democratic party (PSD) and national MP Mendes Bota to request an urgent meeting with the Civil Governor, Isilda Gomes, on December 11.

In a statement sent to the Algarve Resident, Mendes Bota said that it is important to discuss the issue which affects “the Portuguese population as well as the foreign resident community, putting at risk the security of people and their property and the image of the Algarve abroad”.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]