More than 70 people were detained in the Azores as part of the PSP police’s national ‘Safe Holidays’ operation, which started on 13 December 2013 and ended on 1 January 2014. In related news, two Portuguese women were detained at Madrid airport in Spain on 3 January after trying to smuggle drugs hidden in wigs.
Seventy-four people were arrested under the regional Azorean arm of the national PSP operation, which over the 20 days that it was carried out also resulted in the seizing of 29 doses of hashish, 26 doses of heroin, and 1,681 doses of other drugs.
The arrests were made mainly because of outstanding arrest warrants, possession of illegal weapons, drunk-driving, driving without a licence and theft.
A further 2,346 vehicles in that region were checked as part of the operation, which led to the detection of 467 infringements, 76 of which were for driving while drunk, 95 for speeding, seven for lack of insurance and six for a lack of MOT.
As well as the drugs three vehicles and 19 documents were confiscated, along with four guns and 0.25 kilos of explosives.
An establishment was also fined for not complying with opening hours and for four patrons taking drugs.
In related news, Spanish police arrested two Portuguese women aged 18 and 28 after they were caught in Madrid airport with more than a kilo of cocaine each hidden inside wigs.
According to the police the women had employed a method of concealing the drugs that was “very elaborate and hard to detect.”
The two women were travelling separately and had arrived in Spain on different flights, but both were from São Paulo, Brazil.
Spain’s Home Affairs office said the cocaine was hidden underneath the wig in six small packets containing 1.2 kilos of the illegal substance sewn and held into plaits which attached to the wigs with ribbons.
According to the bureau, this is a “new, hard to detect and sophisticated way of smuggling drugs, due to the life-likeness of the wigs.”
Close ties and many flights between Spain and various Latin American countries and former Spanish colonies, make Spain a key entry point for cocaine being brought into Europe.
In 2012 Spanish police seized more than two tonnes of cocaine, which was more than 40 percent of the overall amount seized that year in Europe.