The Judicial Police (PJ) detained two cleaning workers at Lisbon Airport suspected of removing suitcases loaded with drugs from planes, treating them as if they were garbage, to escape the usual control circuits.
According to the National Directorate of the PJ, which released the information in a statement, during the operation code-named “Deep Cleaning” one of the defendants seized a suitcase containing 30 packages of cocaine with a total weight of 32.8 kilograms. The suitcase had just been removed from a plane coming from Brazil and had already been taken outside the Lisbon airport.
The suspects of involvement in international drug trafficking, one 30 years old and the other 38, have already been presented to a criminal judge who ordered that both await the development of the process subject to the most severe measure of coercion, preventive detention.
The arrests were made, according to the statement, “as part of an ongoing investigation aimed at dismantling a criminal structure dedicated to the introduction of large quantities of cocaine in the national territory,” in regular airlines from Latin America.
The function of the detainees, both of whom work for a cleaning company that provides services at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport, “was to remove drug-laden suitcases from the aircraft, as if they were trash, evading the normal control circuits of both the airlines and the authorities.
At the airports of origin, the bags “were clandestinely introduced into the aircraft by other members of the same criminal structure,” according to the statement.
The operation “Deep Clean” was supported by the PSP.