The British “Sky News” network reported that the Portuguese soldiers are part of the United Nations force in the Central African Republic.
They are believed to be part of a criminal network that used military aircraft to transport illegal goods to Portugal.
And 300 Portuguese security personnel participated in the inspection of more than 100 facilities in the country as part of the investigation.
Officials in Portugal say 10 people have been arrested so far, including former military personnel, and they are likely to appear in court this week.
The Portuguese army said that the beginning of the story dates back to late 2019, when officials learned of the existence of this network, after suspicions accumulated that soldiers were involved in transporting contraband from Central Africa.
The army said in a statement: “The armed forces completely renounce these behaviors that contradict the values of the military establishment.”
“Everything indicates that these were activities that took place on the initiative of a handful of soldiers and not a general approach,” said Portuguese Defense Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho.
Hundreds of Portuguese soldiers have been deployed to the Central African Republic over the past years, as the country plunges into civil war.
Central Africa is rich in gold and diamonds, yet it has one of the poorest countries in the world.