“The Territorial Command of Viseu, through the Criminal Investigation Nucleus (NIC) of Viseu, has arrested a 69-year-old man for possessing prohibited weapons, and identified five, aged between 35 and 56 years old, as part of a process of the theft of vehicles with foreign registrations, in the centre and north of the country”, announced the GNR in a statement.

These arrests took place as part of an investigation which had been underway since March and in which "it was possible to investigate the existence of a scheme originating in France and Switzerland, where vehicles are stolen, or reported as stolen".

The crime then saw the cars "transported to Portugal, where they are received and then dismantled to be then sold in parts, or sold with other registrations, which constitute the crimes of qualified theft, insurance fraud, forgery and tax fraud".

During the investigation, the GNR carried out a total of “259 searches, seven house search warrants and 252 non-household searches, namely in workshops”.

The searches took place in municipalities in the district of Viseu (São Pedro do Sul, Viseu, Mangualde and Sernancelhe); Guard (Seia); Aveiro (Vagos) and Braga (Vila Nova de Famalicão and Celorico de Basto) where various materials were also seized.

The list of seized material, according to the GNR, includes "14 vehicles with large cylinder capacity, two shotguns, 47 cartridges, two extendible sticks and a pepper spray."

And also "several license plates associated with stolen vehicles, identification documents of stolen vehicles, punch sets for tampering with chassis numbers, three vehicle diagnostic machines, three mobile phones, eight catalytic converters and various computer equipment".