At a press conference, the Faro district commander of the PSP, Dário Prates, said that the three young people arrested, all aged 16, are “the most active and violent” of the group, made up of eight boys and three girls, all students and residents in Olhão.
"It was possible to relate the group to eight occurrences, five for robberies and three for assaults, in the month of January alone", he underlined, adding that today's police operation aimed at "gathering evidence through carrying out six house searches", as well as the arrest of three of the most active young people, with a view to their presentation to the court.
According to the district commander, the PSP viewed more than 20,000 videos, as well as hundreds of hours of images collected by the video surveillance circuit cameras installed in the city of Olhão, images that proved to be “essential for the investigation”.
"It is now known that the young people communicated with each other through a closed group on Instagram, which they named 8700 [postal code for Olhão]", he said, adding that the group's action involved choosing especially vulnerable victims.
According to Dário Prates, the attacks and robberies were committed “using the strength of the collective, based on extreme gratuitous and spontaneous violence, especially on the part of the three young men with the highest ancestry in the group, who are now being held”.
Dário Prates added that he believes that the motivation was not “mere xenophobia”, but rather the “exploitation of the vulnerability” of the victims, mostly immigrants.
The crime committed against the Nepalese immigrant in Olhão (Faro district), which became public through the sharing of a video on social networks, was condemned by the Portuguese authorities, who considered it to be “unacceptable behaviour” that must be “punished”.
In addition to the violent aggression, which took place on January 25, the group stole the victim's backpack, who did not press charges.
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