Portugal’s Judiciary Police (PJ), arrest a foreigner at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport for carrying some 31,000 doses of cocaine from South America.
Portuguese police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, identified and detained a foreign citizen on strong suspicions of illicit drug trafficking, according to the PJ report.
The arrest was reported on Friday and occurred within the framework of regular checks on movements of passengers from countries considered to be at risk in order to prevent the introduction of narcotic drugs into national territory and other European countries through international airports.
The 24-year-old person was carrying a large amount of cocaine transported from “a South American country” to Lisbon in their luggage, and concealed the drugs in the linings of three bags for women.
The amount of cocaine would be sufficient for least 31,000 individual doses.
The 24-year-old detainee was present at the first judicial interrogation of an accused held before the competent judicial authority, and the pre-trial detention order was applied.
Last month a man carrying 72 pellets of cocaine, equating more than 5,000 doses, was arrested and detained at the same Lisbon airport.
He was detained in the Portuguese capital while en route to the Netherlands, beginning his journey initially in Brazil.
Portugal has one of the most liberal drug policies in the world when it comes to personal possession; however, those caught with large quantities of drugs are subject to arrest and prison sentences with the intent to sell.
As of July, 2001, for anyone caught in possession of a modest quantity of drugs for personal use (established by law, this shall not exceed the quantity required for an average individual consumption during a period of 10 days), the police having no further suspicions or evidence that more serious offences are involved (sale, traffic), the drug will be seized and the case transmitted to a local Commission composed of a lawyer, a doctor and a social assistant.
However, when it comes to drug trafficking, that is still illegal in Portugal.
Producing, offering, selling, preparing or cultivating illicit drugs are, among others, the classic offenses constituting drug trafficking.
The list of drugs under the law are as follows:
- List 1 is divided into opiates; coca derivatives; Cannabis and derivatives
- List 2 is divided into Hallucinogenic; Amphetamines and Barbiturates
- List 3 contains preparations with controlled substances
- List 4 tranquillisers and analgesics
- Lists 5 and 6 contain precursors
Portuguese law differentiates prosecution of drug traffic according to several criteria. The nature of the substance is one of the main criteria. Trafficking in substances included in the lists I to III attract a sentence of between four and 12 years of imprisonment, while substances in list IV (tranquilliser and analgesic) may be punished by between one and five years in prison.