A GANG of masked men beat, robbed and threatened to rape two Irish women at their holiday apartment on the Algarve.
The four thugs forced their way into the apartment after following the young women home from a night out.
The terrified victims were punched and kicked and forced to hand over their bank cards and a laptop computer.
When they refused to give their PIN codes for the cards the men threatened to rape them.
The gang then fled with the computer and the cards with the PINs.
The horrific ordeal happened in the popular family resort of Vilamoura in southern Portugal.
A police source said: "The women were genuinely terrified. They were returning home from a night out in Vilamoura at about 6am on Saturday.
"We believe the gang followed them back to the apartment. They forced their way into the apartment building and then into the women's flat.
"Once inside they were beaten and then threatened with rape until they gave over their bank card PINs.
"We believe the gang has been targeting tourists in the area."
The women, who have not been named, were staying in the Edificio Europa block in the heart of the seaside resort.
The crime is being investigated by the Judicial Police in Faro.
In September 2009 three masked men broke into the holiday home of a retired British couple in the nearby resort of Portimao and stole cash, jewellery and bank cards.
The gang punched and kicked Robert Pickles (74) and his wife Frieda (72) after tying them up. Relatives found Frieda lying semi-conscious by their swimming pool. The couple had been holidaying in Portugal for more than 40 years.