Police bust cross-border drugs ring in Benalmadena

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HASH CASH: Police raids saw them seize €135,000 in cash ©Guardia Civil

OFFICERS of the Guardia Civil have dismantled a Benalmadena based criminal network that operated a drug trafficking ring between Spain and France.

Working with the Central Bureau for the Suppression of Illicit Traffic in Narcotics (OCRTIS) in Bordeaux, the Guardia Civil’s investigations led to the arrest of 17 people.

As part of operation “Clibano,” police began inquiries last October when officers discovered that French residents in Malaga province were transporting large amounts of hashish between the two countries by car or van.

At one stage officers detected a suspicious van in Algeciras, leading to a dangerous chase where several cars were damaged but which ended in Seville.

The Guardia Civil found 480 kilos of hashish inside the vehicle and further investigations established that it was destined for Bordeaux.

Members of the criminal organisation travelled regularly from France to a residence located in a luxury hotel complex in Benalmadena, used as a “safe house.”

There they would pick up a hidden car which would be used for distributions to Malaga, Cadiz and Seville.

Operation “Clibano” led to police raids of ten homes in Spain and France after which 17 people were arrested and 1,020 kilos were seized.

In addition, 342 kilos of marijuana, 125 grams of cocaine, €135,000 in cash, four semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and 15 vehicles were confiscated.

14 of the 17 people arrested have been imprisoned.

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