The strategy has been «a success» and the Navy guarantees that "will maintain" the fight against drug trafficking, off the coast of the Algarve, which allowed, in early morning of Tuesday, March 21, learn another 2,5 tons of dope.
This was one more seizure among the dozens that have taken place in recent months and was once again the result of a joint action between the National Maritime Authority, the Portuguese Air Force and the Portuguese Navy.
Speaking to journalists at Porto Comercial de Faro, José Sousa Luís, spokesman for the Navy, guaranteed that this increase in seizures is also due to greater inspection.
«Right now, we have already verified all the figures for the amount of drugs seized, elements identified or detected in alleged trafficking and also high-speed vessels - this could possibly be due to the increase in the flow of drug trafficking to Portugal, but there was also a reinforcement of means of the Navy and AMN and changes in our tactics», he said.
For the person in charge, the results of this change «are in sight».
"It has been a success and the Navy will maintain this fight against drug trafficking with the commitment of various means", he added.
Regarding this specific detention, the Navy spokesman said that, despite the seizure of a fast boat, two others managed to escape. The alert was given by an Air Force aircraft.
«The aircraft detected 3 suspicious vessels, but two managed to escape to Spanish waters, and we alerted the authorities», he explained.
With regard to the three crew members of the seized speedboat – two Moroccans and a Spaniard -, they did not show any resistance to the actions of the authorities.
Asked whether it is already possible to identify any connection between these detainees and other alleged traffickers who have been caught in the Algarve, Fernando Jordão, director of the Judiciary Police in the South, said that it is not possible, for now, to establish it.
«Relationship between the transporters we have not done: what we can is to have between the networks that receive the drug and that is something that we are studying», he explained.
According to the person in charge, «hashish has always been trafficked to the Algarve», but it was carried out «under different conditions».
“If a few years ago we were talking about combat closer to the coast, today we have this different reality that creates difficulties in detecting the networks, but makes it easier to apprehend drugs”, said Fernando Jordão.
Bernardo da Costa, head of public relations for the Portuguese Air Force, emphasized the «cooperation» that allowed this apprehension.
«Operations have allowed fine-tuning procedures and this is an aspect that I wanted to stress», he concluded.
Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação