POLICE have shut down an operation of drug traffickers who kidnapped and tortured a man, cutting off two of his fingers over a stash of hashish.
In a series of raids, officers arrested 18 people and applied for three international arrest warrants. In addition 6,120 kilos of hashish, two prohibited firearms and 10 vehicles have been seized, five of which were stolen.
According to the Civil Guard of Andalusia, the organisation was’ dedicated to the introduction of hashish caches by sea’.
The investigation began when detectives discovered a criminal organisation with a hierarchical structure had settled at the mouth of the river Guadalquivir under the command of several ringleaders. Further probes suggested the group was dedicated to the transport of hashish from Morocco using semi-rigid boats and all-terrain vehicles, the latter of which are believed to have been stolen from the Malaga area.
According to a police source, once the drugs had been unloaded, they were stashed in properties close to the coast, known as ‘nurseries’, before being distributed elsewhere in smaller quantities.
Acting on the information gathered, the Civil Guard intercepted one of the gangs vehicles, in which there were members of this organisation, as well as a man from Sanlúcar de Barrameda who ‘had been kidnapped with great violence and intimidation with firearms for an alleged theft of a stash of hashish’.
Officers confirmed he had been held for several days and ‘was tortured and two phalanges cut off a hand, so that after his release he required medical assistance’.
As a result of the investigations, an agricultural warehouse in Jerez was unearthed, where 102 hashish bundles, weighing approximately 3,000 kilos, a stolen all-terrain vehicle, a short calibre 9 pistol and a 38-calibre revolver were discovered.
After the seizure of this haul, police say the organisation tried to introduce another cache of drugs through the Guadalquivir River, which was intercepted by the investigators.
They recovered more drug, a stolen 4X4 and arrested six people at a property in the Lebrija area, Seville.
The operation was carried out by agents from the Organic Judicial Police Units of the Cadiz and Malaga Commanders with the support of agents from the Rural Action Group.
The seized drugs have been placed at the disposal of the head of Mixed Court 3 of Sanulcat de Barrameda. Of the 18 arrested, 12 are now in prison and six have been released awaiting trial. An order for the international arrest of three suspected gang members outside of Spain has been issued.