In total, 19 people aged 22 to 65 were arrested in the operation, which took place last Tuesday and involved over 100 police officers.

The Public Prosecutor’s office revealed on Wednesday that 13 people had initially been arrested, followed by a further six who were caught in the act.

Newspaper Público, citing a GNR police statement, reports the network involved employees and owners of nightlife establishments who “delivered the drugs to their customers” as well as “to homes, vacation homes or hotels in the region”.

The bust took place last Tuesday following an almost two-year investigation, leading to the arrest of the 19 people – 15 men and four women – for drug trafficking and criminal association.

The GNR statement further detailed that the trafficking network was allegedly led by two foreign suspects and “operated essentially in the municipality of Albufeira, but also extended its activity to several other municipalities in the district of Faro, namely Portimão, Silves, Lagoa, Loulé, Olhão and Tavira”.

In the scope of the investigation, “69 search warrants” were carried out, “30 of which were home searches, 29 on vehicles and ten on night entertainment establishments”.

A large haul of drugs – 19,471 doses of cocaine, 2,511 doses of hashish, 2,760 doses of heroin and 76 cannabis plants – firearms, vehicles and over €39,000 in cash and some foreign currency were seized in the vast crackdown.