Spanish Police Bust 'Drugs Ring', Seize 7 Tons of Cannabis at Street Value of $20 Million

Published August 19th, 2018 - 12:10 GMT
(Spanish National Police)
(Spanish National Police)

Spanish police have seized almost seven tons of cannabis with a street value of nearly 15 million pounds after smashing a British-led drugs gang.

Officers said the group was led by a Brit who was using his home in San Pedro de Alcantara near the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella to store the drugs.

A total of 11 people - nine men and two women - have been held. Police say they include Brits, Moroccans, Spanish and Irish nationals. 

The drug traffickers have been accused of using boats to smuggle the cannabis into southern Spain from Morocco.

During the investigation drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy were seized along with a frequency jammer, bundles of cash, a gun, nine vehicles and 25 mobile phones.

The operation began when a suspect in a van carrying drugs rammed several police vehicles during a chase.

Footage showing the seizures - including bundles of euros and pound sterling notes as well as a pistol - were released by police today.

A spokesman for Spain's National Police, revealing details of the arrests in a statement, said: 'National Police officers have smashed a criminal gang operating out of Marbella and the nearby town of Estepona which was smuggling cannabis into Spain using boats so it could be sent on to other places.

'In this operation 11 people - nine men and two women - from Britain, Ireland, Morocco and Spain have been arrested on suspicion of drugs trafficking and membership of a criminal organisation.'

He added: 'The operation began in March when officers were tipped off about the existence of a group of Moroccans and Spanish nationals who were smuggling drugs into Spain on boats.

'At the end of May one of the suspects was spotted driving a vehicle through Estepona.

'Suspecting he could be carrying drugs, he was followed until the driver realised he was being tailed and tried to escape.

'After a chase in which he rammed several police vehicles, he was held and it was confirmed he was carrying cannabis.

'The following day another suspect was located in San Pedro de Alcantara. Officers intercepted the van he was in and discovered 35 packs of cannabis resin and arrested him.'

Revealing how they subsequently got to the unnamed British gang leader, the spokesman said: 'During the operative to identify the members of the criminal organisation, the police located a group of people from Britain and Ireland and confirmed they included the gang leader and another four members of the organisation.

'They were arrested and the gang leader's home in San Pedro searched.

'Officers seized 150 packs of cannabis resin, a kilo of cocaine, 208,000 euros (£186,000), and a pistol with ammunition which was hidden in the secret compartment of a wardrobe.

'The last phase of the operation led to the arrest of another four members of the organisation.

'Three searches led to the seizure of 10,400 euros (£9,335) and 312 kilos of cannabis.'

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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