Police arrest eight people in weapons theft case

in News · 17-12-2018 14:59:00 · 0 Comments
Police arrest eight people in weapons theft case

Eight civilians have been arrested in connection with a stash of military arsenal that went missing from the Tancos army depot in June 2017 and was later recovered.

Portugal's PJ police made the arrests today (Monday) after carrying out a mega operation involving dozens of searches in central and southern Portugal, as part of the Tancos case. In question are facts that could include crimes of criminal association, theft, possession and weapons trafficking, international terrorism and narcotic drug trafficking. A police source told Lusa News Agency that the eight detainees will have the first judicial interrogation on Tuesday at the court of the Justice Campus of Lisbon.

Three public prosecutors and 85 investigators participated in the operation called “Operation Húbris II”.

The theft of military material, including grenades, explosives and ammunition, from Tancos was reported on 29 June 2017.

The case gained major developments in 2018, with the arrest of seven military members of the military police (PJM) and the Portuguese Republican National Guard (GNR), suspected of having forged the recovery of the material as collusion with the presumed author of the theft.

Among the detainees is the director of the military police and one civilian (who used to be a soldier), the main suspect, both in remand, in a case that led to the resignation of Azeredo Lopes from the post of minister of defence and whose political implications led to the establishment of a parliamentary inquiry committee, which has not yet begun the hearings.

The committee has a deadline of 180 days, until May 2019, extendable for 90 more days, to reach its conclusions.


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