Resulting from an international investigation by the DCIAP that has taken place over a period of several months, the Judicial Police conducted, with the collaboration of the Spanish authorities, operation “ADIADA”” that has so far resulted in the arrest of 11 suspects and the seizure of about 20 tons of hashish which was being transported inside a Portuguese fishing vessel.

The fishing vessel was in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, and was under surveillance by the Spanish Navy and elements of the Spanish Tax Agency. 

Upon being approached the crew on board the vessel ignited a drum of petrol in order to burn and sink the vessel and thus destroy the drugs. As a result of fuel explosion, two of the crew were seriously injured and were evacuated by sea rescue services in Spain. Despite the fire, ten crew members of various nationalities were arrested. Later,  the leader of the criminal network was arrested during an operation involving eleven searches Items seized included, a refrigeration ship about 50 meters long, that the criminal organization wanted to use for future drug transport, and two cars. 

Members of the Judicial Police participated in the naval operation operation.  The investigation is part of an international effort to dismantling organize criminal networks that have been using this modus operandi for the smuggling of hashish on the European continent (the so-called “Eastern Mediterranean route”. During the last year these efforts have led to arrests and seizure of more than 100 tons of drugs, under coordination of the “Analysis Center and Maritime Operations – Narcotics (MAOC-N). This involves help provided by the Portuguese Air Force and Navy.

The detainees have appeared at the relevant Portuguese and Spanish Judicial Authorities for the application of enforcement measures.