In addition to Portugal, police forces from Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain were also involved, with more than six tonnes of cocaine seized in global terms, with seizures in the Azores, Aruba, the Ivory Coast and in Spain.
The investigation had been ongoing for several years and began with the seizure by the PJ of two sailboats in the Azores, in 2018 and 2019, which, in total, transported around 1,440 kilos of cocaine. In these seizures, seven foreign citizens were arrested, with the PJ clarifying that the national investigations into this case are concluded.
According to the press release, “Operation Florida” – as it was called by the PJ – managed to put an end to the activity of this criminal organisation, which was mostly composed of Montenegrin citizens and used pleasure boats to introduce large quantities of drugs from South America.
“This operation, like others in which the Judiciary Police has participated, clearly demonstrates that only with recourse to international cooperation is it possible to effectively combat the phenomenon of drug trafficking, which constitutes a serious threat to most countries”.
According to Europol, which mediated the exchange of information between the different countries involved, during the investigation, 29 suspects were accused in different countries. A total of 37 searches were carried out and 12 people were arrested, in addition to the seizure of watches, bank cards, documents, ammunition, weapons, a vehicle, a speedboat and money.