Portuguese police burn 6 tonnes of drugs as illicit trade surges

June 26 (Reuters) – Portuguese police on Monday burned six tonnes of cocaine, hashish and other substances to mark the United Nations’ international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking at a time the illegal trade is booming worldwide.

“There are more drugs circulating, there is more supply from producing countries and also more drugs being seized,” Rui Sousa, the head of the anti-drug trafficking unit at Portugal’s criminal investigation agency (PJ), told reporters in Lisbon.

Sousa said 11 tonnes of cocaine, 30 tonnes of hashish and smaller amount of other types of drugs have been seized in Portugal so far in 2023, already above the amounts seized last year as a whole.

He said most of the cocaine was trafficked from Latin America and the Caribbean, while the hashish came from Morocco.

On Monday, officers loaded a large number of white cloth sacks full of drugs onto several vans and took them to a nearby incineration facility in Lisbon, where the 6 tonnes of substances were burned and destroyed.

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