Authorities believe they are managing to keep drug traffickers away from the Algarve coast

There was another big seizure of around 1,1 tonnes of hashish

Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

First, three vessels were detected, without drugs on board, but in another, which was traveling alone, there was more than a ton of hashish. The authorities followed his trail and made yet another major seizure, on the night of this Thursday, August 31st, off the coast of the Algarve. Surveillance, which has increased, is bearing more and more fruit. 

Speaking to journalists at Porto Comercial de Faro, on the afternoon of this Friday, September 1, Commander Mário Figueiredo considered that this increase in actions to combat drug trafficking is being a success.

“We are managing to drive them away from our coast. This we can say with a great degree of certainty. As a result of the intensification of the control that is being carried out, the phenomena have been moving to Spain», said the newly appointed captain of Porto de Faro.

Fernando Jordão, director of the Judiciary Police in the South, also agreed.

«[Currently], it may be more difficult to unload drugs in Portugal», he considered.

Regarding this seizure (since the beginning of the year, 31 tons of drugs have already been seized off the coast of the Algarve), the sea-and-war captain Mário Figueiredo explained that it is part of «”Operação Porta Fechada”, led by National Maritime Authority, in collaboration with the Air Force and the Judiciary Police».



Mario Figueiredo – Photo: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação



«The aerial environment initially detected three vessels and then an isolated one. It was soon detected that these three had no illicit cargo, but the one that was isolated, everything indicated that there were drugs on board, which is why it became our priority», he added.

The work bore fruit: on board were two men, of French and Spanish nationality, who were transporting 1,1 tons of hashish (41 bales).

As for the destination of the drug, it was not known: it could just as well have been Portugal as Spain.

«I think it is a destination of opportunity», summarized the captain of Porto de Faro.

Asked whether these apprehensions are due only to the greater presence of the authorities or also to the increase in trafficking, Mário Figueiredo replied that there is currently a “combination of efforts to combat international networks”.



Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação



«This is a phenomenon that has been going on for several years, but since the end of 2022, there has been an intensification in the fight against this scourge. Surveillance has always been there: eventually, now there is greater visibility and effort », he said.

For the rest, this strategy is “to continue”. «While the results are showing, we will be here to play our role», she summarized.

In total, six men were detained: the two from the drug boat and four from the other three boats initially detected. They are aged between 24 and 48 and are French, Spanish and Moroccan.

Of these first three boats, two of them were also seized, in addition to the one carrying the drug.

The coercive measures are not yet known and, according to Fernando Jordão, the date of the first judicial interrogation due to today's strike in the courts is also unknown.

From the director of the PJ in the South, however, a certainty came: the Judiciary "now has even more means to combat these trafficking networks".


Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!