According to the Lisbon district office, the defendants in the case are suspected of having sold cocaine and hashish back in 2010, with trafficking their only source of income, supplying drugs to other defendants who then sold them on to third parties in the Torre neighbourhood in Cascais and in Zambujeiro, also in Cascais.

"The defendants communicated with the suppliers of narcotic products and consumers, using their mobile phones, which they used to arrange transactions with suppliers and their customers, in this way arranging the deliveries of drugs and payments,” the prosecution states.

It concludes that three of the defendants met a prison guard at Caxias prison, between 30 November 2015 and 1 July 2017, with a proposal that in exchange for money he help them get mobile phones and steroids into that facility for sale to inmates.

Ten of the 28 defendants, including the prison guard, have been in protective custody for a year following a police operation dubbed Source 2765 in Lisbon, Santarém and Setúbal, in which money, drugs and various items relating to suspected crimes were seized.

As part of the operation, 94 searches were carried out, with 16,000 doses of hashish, 1,000 doses of cocaine, nine mobile phones and drug cutting and packaging material all being seized.