In a statement, the PJ states that, within the scope of an investigation carried out by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Vila Nova de Famalicão, “it identified a laboratory for transforming coca paste into cocaine hydrochloride (drug for human consumption)” and the arrest of four individuals indicted for aggravated drug trafficking, criminal association, money laundering and possession of a prohibited weapon.

“The intense investigations carried out in recent months allowed the Judiciary Police to collect information and consequently obtain extensive evidence, which culminated in the location of a residence in a rural and isolated location, in the parish of Gondomar, Guimarães, which served as a laboratory of considerable size, where, daily and continuously, two individuals carried out the process of transforming coca paste into an illicit final product, suitable for human consumption”, explains the PJ.

This criminal investigation force emphasises that the “international network was based on foreign individuals, of at least two different nationalities”.

“That, having arrived on national territory a few months ago, here, in a transactional organization, they rented a house, where they placed various materials consisting of acids, chemicals, artefacts, fans, presses, decanters, which they used to carry out to the transformation process”.

It was possible, according to the PJ, “to analyse the way the organisation operates, with the almost daily arrival of 'drug couriers' transporting coca paste from of South America.”

These ‘drug couriers’ “delivered the illicit product” to one of the detainees, with the final destination being the laboratory, “where two more individuals were working full-time”.

“When approaching the residence where the laboratory operated, which was in full operation, it was possible to see the presence of various materials, hundreds of litres of chemicals, benzines, acids and others, as well as an entire structure and paraphernalia capable of producing, in continuous process, more than a hundred kilograms of cocaine per week”, reads the statement.

“It was thus possible to dismantle it, with the seizure of coca paste and cocaine, with an estimated value of around five dozen kilograms, sufficient for around 250,000 individual doses. Firearms and ammunition, a vehicle, more than 17,000 euros in foreign currency were also seized”, highlights the PJ.