The main defendant, residing in Soure, was handed down a single sentence of six years in prison for the crimes of trafficking and mediation of arms, possession of prohibited weapons and money laundering, and was also sentenced to pay €7,000 to the State, said the presiding judge.

The process involved 19 men, aged between 25 and 70 years, most of whom were living in the Centre region of Portugal.

Most of those involved were accused of buying weapons from the main suspect, known by the nicknames 'Gunmen' and 'Motard', for their own use or for sale to third parties.

Five men were sentenced to suspended sentences, between two years and two years and ten months in prison, for engaging in arms trafficking or for possession of a prohibited weapon.

Seven were acquitted of all the crimes they were accused of and the remaining defendants, six were handed fines.

All defendants sentenced to imprisonment also had as an accessory penalty of the temporary ban on the use and possession of weapons.

According to Lusa, the main defendant, residing in Vinha da Rainha, Soure municipality, was dedicated to the sale of firearms and ammunition, without authorisation for that purpose, also operating “many times as an intermediary between buyers and sellers or as a front man for the business to be carried out on behalf of others”.

Using code language to refer to weapons or parts of, the defendant urged buyers to use Messenger or Whatsapp applications to communicate.

In addition to selling weapons, an activity that is said to have taken place at least between 2018 and 2020, the defendant also transformed alarm weapons into firearms and reactivated weapons.

In his house, dozens of weapons were seized, including automatic rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, knives and several boxes of ammunition.