“The vessel made its escape at high speed in a southerly direction, towards the open sea. Chase was given but it was not possible to apprehend the boat”, explained the commander of the Coastal Control Detachment in Olhão, Nuno Marinho.

The drug was being transported by a boat that had been flagged as suspicious by police and once the crew became aware of a police presence they threw the cargo into the water.

“As part of a mission to monitor, control and patrol the coast and territorial sea, with a special focus on combating international drug trafficking, the police, with the support of the Integrated Surveillance, Command and Control System, detected a high speed semi rigid vessel, which approached the Guadiana River, presenting an atypical behaviour”, added the GNR in the statement.

Nuno Marinho said: “48 bales of hashish were initially recovered during the night”, weighing approximately 30 kilograms each and adding up to a total of around 1.5 tonnes, but additional searches, “allowed for the later seizure of a further 10 bales”, increasing the weight of the seized drug to around 1.8 tonnes.