Hashish gang caught red-handed in La Manga

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A PAINSTAKING undercover operation over recent months came to fruition last week, when officers from the Guardia Civil Narcotics squad seized an estimated ton of hashish from a gang operating from a house in La Manga on the Mar Menor.

Acting on a tip off, the officers raided the chalet on the El Vivero Urbanizacion last Thursday with an order from the court in Cartagena and caught nine alleged drug traffickers in possession of the drugs.

The organised crime and narcotics squad had been monitoring the gangs activities for over a year, tracking their movements from Morocco to Andalucia, to Almeria and onto La Manga.

The officers detected a landing of drugs on a beach along the Mar Menor, then following a discreet line of enquiry tracked the alleged traffickers to a house in a quiet area of the urbanizacion, which the men had rented for a month, just a few days before.

A police source told the Spanish press that, on entering the property with the warrant, the officers immediately came across two boats in the garden. One of the boats, a rubber inflatable, had a false bottom which contained the huge haul of cannabis.

On discovering the drugs in the false bottom one of the officers was heard to shout in excitement ”Bingo, chocolate!! ”

Neighbours confirmed they had heard the alleged traffickers celebrating loudly earlier in the evening, presumably because they thought they had landed the drugs successfully without detection.

The eight men of Moroccan and Spanish origin were handcuffed and arrested on drug trafficking offences. They were subsequently brought before a judge on Saturday and remanded in custody whilst the investigation continues.

Eight of the suspects refused to testify, however one man of Moroccan origin said he was on holiday and confirmed he arrived in Spain at Almeria with four of the other arrested men in a car which the police had also impounded.

The judge must now decide the procedural situation regarding the arrested suspects. Meanwhile the investigation stays open whilst police attempt to determine the source of the narcotics in Morocco and the presumed distribution network in Spain.

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