In a statement, the PSP confirmed the house searches of the agent working in Chaves, in the district of Vila Real, as well as the opening of disciplinary proceedings and the suspension of functions.

"Illegal weapons were found in the possession of this citizen, which were seized from him, a fact which constitutes, moreover, a circumstance with disciplinary relevance", explains the note.

"For this reason, disciplinary proceedings were immediately initiated and a precautionary measure of preventive suspension of functions was decreed, without prejudice to any other measures that may be decreed in the context of the criminal proceedings in progress", adds the PSP.

This week the PJ carried out a major operation to combat arms trafficking in the area of Vila Real and the neighbouring region and arrested dozens of people, the police source told Lusa.

According to the same source, the police operation was carried out by around 300 PJ members from across the country who carried out over 200 house and non-household searches and seized firearms and other proceeds of crime.

The operation, called Iberia, was coordinated by the PJ of Vila Real and counted on the collaboration of the National Republican Guard (GNR) and the PSP.

A source from the PSP said that house searches had been carried out on the residence of a policeman who was working at the Chaves police station and who is a suspect in this case.

According to a communiqué from the PJ, the Iberia operation was carried out as part of an investigation overseen by the Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DIAP) in Oporto.