May 11, 2021

Another 8 arrested for the theft in a military arsenal of Portugal

Another 8 arrested for the theft in a military arsenal of Portugal

Eight people were arrested today on suspicion of having participated in the robbery of the arsenal of the Tancos military depot, which occurred in June 2017 and turned it into a national scandal that ended up causing the resignation of the defense minister.

The Portuguese Prosecutor's Office confirmed in a statement the arrests and that "dozens of searches" were made in the center and south of the country.

These efforts seek to clarify "the circumstances in which the theft of war material occurred" in the municipality of Tancos, in central Portugal, where they disappeared on June 27, 2017 grenades, explosives and ammunition valued at 34,000 euros.

Part of the arsenal was recovered by the Military Judicial Police four months later in the municipality of Chamusca, just 20 kilometers from Tancos, in an operation considered suspicious by the Prosecutor's Office, which then opened an investigation.

The result was the arrest last September of eight soldiers accused of having made a montage to make the weapons reappear and protect the author of the robbery, an ex-soldier with whom they shared a professional background, who was also arrested.

The involvement of uniformed officers unleashed a scandal that led to the resignation last October 12 of the defense minister, José Azeredo Lopes, who always said he did not know that there was an assembly and was accused of lack of control of the Portuguese Armed Forces.

The eight arrested today are suspected of "criminal association, theft, arms trafficking, international terrorism and drug trafficking," the prosecution said in his note, without specifying whether it is military or civilians.

All of them will appear before a court in Lisbon, where the pertinent preventive measures will be dictated, he added.


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