Five arrested at Lisbon Airport in major cocaine bust

image credit: Lisbon Airport

The Judiciary Police (PJ) has apprehended five individuals in the act of drug trafficking at Lisbon Airport, seizing approximately 780,000 individual doses of cocaine.

The suspects are believed to be part of an organized criminal network engaged in drug trafficking via air routes.

The arrests were made during a police operation conducted yesterday by the PJ’s National Unit to Combat Drug Trafficking, as part of an investigation spearheaded by the Lisbon Department of Investigation and Criminal Action.

Dubbed the “Ghost Passengers” operation, authorities discovered that the detainees, equipped with unused plane tickets, accessed Lisbon Airport with the intent of retrieving two suitcases containing cocaine from the baggage carousel, originating from a flight originating in Latin America.

Through collaborative efforts with the Airport Security Division of the Public Security Police, investigators determined that two of the detainees, under the supervision of the remaining three, who were engaged in counter-surveillance activities, retrieved the suitcases from the airport premises.

The individuals were intercepted outside the airport, where the suitcases were found to contain the equivalent of around 780,000 individual doses of cocaine.

Subsequent to the arrests, law enforcement conducted searches of the suspects’ residences, resulting in the seizure of approximately €30,000 in cash, three motor vehicles, a prohibited firearm, ammunition, and various documents.

The detainees, aged between 28 and 42, have been brought before the judicial authority to determine appropriate coercive measures.