Police of Portugal uncovers the involvement of military in drug trafficking networks and diamonds

At least ten people were arrested in a special operative developed this Monday by the Judicial Police in Portugal that has uncovered the involvement of lusing m

Police of Portugal uncovers the involvement of military in drug trafficking networks and diamonds

At least ten people were arrested in a special operative developed this Monday by the Judicial Police in Portugal that has uncovered the involvement of lusing military in international drug trafficking, diamonds, gold and money laundering.

"A criminal network is investigated, with international links, which is dedicated to obtaining the benefits of diamond and gold smuggling, drug trafficking, change of false coins and computer crimes with the goal of whitening capital," Judicial Police reported in a statement.

More than 300 judicial police agents have participated in this mega-room for which a hundred search orders have been issued.

Military, commanders and former commander of the Army Luso are under suspicion for the creation of a criminal association taking advantage of its missions in the United Nations in the Central African Republic (RCA).

The suspects transported diamonds, gold and drugs from the RCA to Europe aboard military aircraft whose cargo was not reviewed, according to the TVi chain.

In the case of diamonds, Belgium was then transferred by land, where they sold.

In addition, the military involved could have "elaborated money laundering scheme" with the purchase of Bitcoins.

The Minister of Defense Luso, João Gomes Cravinho, said this Monday that he was informed at the end of 2019 on this network of drug and diamond trafficking, with the involvement of two soldiers, but until now he did not know that those involved ascended to a dozen.

Gomes Cravinho informed the UN about the case in the first months of 2020, he said in statements collected by local media.

For its part, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, considered today that the scandal does not affect the image of the country.

"It does not affect our international image, if the judicial authorities understand that there are indications that require research, these investigations must be carried out. The principle of separation of powers is valid. I have nothing to say about ongoing investigations," he said.

In the same line, President Luso, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was expressed, who considered that the scandal does not detract from the armed forces, "on the contrary," because taking the initiative to investigate isolated cases "only gives them prestige in international terms" .

The research is in charge of the National Unit to Fight against Corruption of the PC.

The main headquarters of the operation is Lisbon, but also the north of the country, with searches in cities such as Oporto, Bragança or Vila Real.

Updated Date: 09 November 2021, 09:04

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