Seven people were detained in a PJ operation to dismantle a criminal drug trafficking organization that led to the seizure of 3.5 tons of hashish that were being transported by sea from North Africa to Portugal.

Under the operation, which resulted from an investigation launched last year, the vessel used to transport the drug was also seized. Five of the detainees have already appeared before the judicial authorities and detained, said PJ in a statement. .

The investigation, under the responsibility of the National Judicial Police’s Counter-narcotics Unit, aimed at dismantling this organization, “suspected of introducing large quantities of hashish from North Africa into the national territory for later transport, by land to several European countries, “the statement said.

The PJ states that in this operation, called “Catavento” and which had the support of the Navy and the Air Force, “it was possible to locate and then intercept, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in front of Cape St. Vincent, a fishing vessel that the criminal organization concerned was transporting approximately 3,500 kg of hashish, which were seized with the vessel.”

The detainees, a Portuguese citizen and six foreigners, are between 29 and 52 years old.

The research, which was also supported by the Spanish National Police Board and the Lisbon-based Maritime Analysis and Operations Center – Narcotics (MAOC-N), will continue with a view to collecting further evidence, the report adds. PJ