A Belgian member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, drug trafficking, grievous bodily harm, and possession of prohibited weapons in the Algarve on Monday, the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) and the Procuradoria-Geral da República (PGR) confirmed yesterday in a press release.
The arrest was made as part of a broader investigation of the Hells Angels led by the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office, with the assistance of the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) and the PJ. The case currently has 89 defendants, of whom 43 are now in custody.
The Belgian detainee was present at the Criminal Investigation Court of Lisbon for the first time on Tuesday, and the court, in concordance with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, applied the measure of pre-trial detention.
According to a judicial source, interrogations of the defendants have taken place in recent days and continue to be carried out. However, none of the defendants have yet answered any of the questions put to them by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In March of last year, about 20 Hells Angels bikers invaded a restaurant in Prior Velho, a municipality of Loures near Lisbon, to attack the rival Red & Gold group, created by the extreme-right radical Mário Machado. The two rival gangs clashed inside the restaurant, with knives, sticks, iron bars and other objects being used.
In January, the Criminal Investigation Court (TIC) of Lisbon declared that the “special complexity” of the case entailed that the Public Prosecutor’s Office was entitled to six additional months (until July 18) to file their indictments, thereby also extending the period of pre-trial detention of the gang members.
The Hells Angels group has existed in Portugal since 2002, and has always been closely monitored by police and the Portuguese authorities more generally.