Drug trafficking by sea kept under close watch
Every day of the year, a force of 30 officers, equipped with night-vision technology and top of the range speedboats, is strategically located along the coastline monitoring suspicious activity.
The Algarve coastline receives the most attention by the authorities in the fight against North Africa hashish entering Europe via Portugal.
As well as the region’s geographical proximity to North Africa, authorities suspect that most of the drugs entering Portugal were originally destined for Spain but since the Spanish coastal surveillance system was implemented, traffickers began targetting the region.
The Portuguese UCC unit also controls vessel traffic along the Algarve coast for the detection of illegal immigrants.
Currently, there is one UCC observation point over Ancão beach as part of the Coastal Surveillance Integrated System. A further four observation points, located at Praia Verde, Armona, Galé and Ponta da Piedade, are due to become operational soon.