Defendants confirm drug trafficking network inside prison

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 15-01-2019 08:43:00 · 0 Comments
Defendants confirm drug trafficking network inside prison

Two prisoners confirmed in a court case on Monday there was a drug trafficking network inside Coimbra prison in northern Portugal.

Coimbra criminal court began a trial of 28 defendants accused of drug trafficking inside the prison.

At the beginning of the trial, two defendants confirmed the public ministry's indictment that stated that the group had an "organised" and "megalomaniac" nature, involving prisoners and non-prisoners under the leadership of three "highly violent" men, who were even feared by some prison guards.

Leaders of the network include a 54-year-old British citizen called Steven Johnson, who had been sentenced in 2013 to a maximum sentence (25 years), as the leader of a group that kidnapped and tortured a Scottish citizen in the Algarve in 2010. The inmate is currently serving his sentence in the United Kingdom.

The first defendant to give evidence said he took part in the trafficking network, taking advantage of the fact that he was serving his sentence in open custody to receive doses of hashish, which he took into the prison in Coimbra, adding that on one occasion he managed to smuggle 60 pellets of hashish into the prison.

The defendant said he did not gain anything from the scheme, claiming he had opted to take part in order to guarantee that he could pay back the money he owed to his brother.

Questioned by judge João Ferreira, the 23-year-old defendant explained that part of the drug's final destination was one of the alleged leaders of the group, known as "Sabat," with the intermediaries keeping another part of the drug.

Another 26-year-old defendant said he was a drug user and was in charge of collecting the drugs taken into the prison. He also said he ended up being threatened when one of the orders went missing.


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