Murcian drug baron ‘El Karateka’ arrested

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NATIONAL POLICE working on an operation codenamed ‘Operacion Piton’, last week detained an armed drugs gang in possession of weapons, firearms and marijuana with a street value of 1.4 million euros.

The gang members were arrested last Sunday April 23 in raids on three properties in the Alcantarilla area of Murcia, following a covert operation lasting over a year and a half.

The national police officers seized up to 281 kilogrammes of marijuana buds from the homes in the Residencia Verona II, Puebla de Sota.

In addition to the drugs which have a value of 400,000 euros, but a bulk value of close on half a million euros, the agents also uncovered 330,000 euros of cash hidden in a false ceiling in the bathroom of one of the properties.

They also seized eleven operational firearms, which included shot guns, revolvers, hunting and military rifles whose origins are still unknown.

The arrested gang members were part of a criminal organization headed by Pedro SG, dubbed ‘El Karateka’, which was composed of four men and two women, aged between 18 and 46.

The detainees were all subsequently arrested and charged with various serious criminal offences including drug trafficking, crimes against public health, illicit possession of weapons and membership of a criminal organisation.

A police spokesman confirmed the suspects were part of a network dedicated to the cultivation of marijuana, collection of marijauna buds and distribution of the illegal drug for commercial gain.

Speaking to Spanish media last Wednesday, head of the operation Inspector Alberto Juan Benavente, from the National Police in Alcantarilla, explained that the gang possessed: ‘Very advanced technological means,” including surveillance and espionage devices, “such as spy cameras and peepholes with cameras to monitor the exterior activity around their properties’’

He explained that the investigation had begun in October 2015 at the Polígono Industrial de Alcantarilla, where agents detected a possible production of marijuana buds and subsequent sale of them.

The investigation ultimately focused on the leader of the gang, Pedro SG, who was known to reside in the town of Puebla de Soto.

He was caught in possession of the drugs and firearms at his home last weekend, along with the four other gang members detained, three of whom are of Spanish nationality one of Indian origin.

The detainees were caught handling large trunks in a van that contained 40 bags with a total of 17 kilograms of marijuana.

Investigating officers also recovered valuables owned by the detainees from the properties, including six cars, one of which was a Maserati.

Other items seized included high-end mobile phones, computers and tablets, plus luxury watches and expensive items of jewellery.

Inspector Benavente, told reporters his officers were not accustomed to the seizure of so much material, but went on to confirm that the investigation is now closed.

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