Video footage shows that after pulling the taxi over just outside the Foreign Ministry, an extremely polite police officer asks to see the taxi driver's licence and enquires as to whether he has been drinking.
"Me? No," comes the reply, with perhaps a hint that someone else may have been downing the vinho verde.
The officer then asks how many passengers he is carrying, at which point the driver indicates the five people occupying all available seats and answers, tellingly: "More than I need."
"Now I'm going to inspect the vehicle; open the trunk please," says our sleuth, clearly suspecting that there is more to this situation than meets the eye. The trunk is duly opened and out pops a rather smartly-dressed Portuguese gentleman like an Iberian jack-in-the-box, none the worse for his close encounter with the spare tire.
"Sorry!" he says in his brief yet effective cameo.
According to the police's account, the driver said the group of young people had insisted on travelling together and the stowaway volunteered for his stint riding shotgun. The illegal load was spotted by CCTV cameras.
Checks showed the driver had a significant collection of penalty points already to his name and the case was handed over to state police.