Spanish police have arrested 18 members of a major drug-trafficking organisation which operated in the tourist hotspots of Alicante and Malaga.
According to the Spanish National Police, the gang was formed of members from Morroco, France, India and Spain who carried out their drug trafficking activities in different cities in Spain.
Police unit broke into one of the houses of the gang and arrested one of the members while they seized 400 kilogrammes (881 lbs) of hashish, several semi-automatic weapons with ammunition, more than 220,000 EUR in cash and six luxury cars.
The criminal gang reportedly had two well-organised branches which were based in the holidaymakers’ comarcas of the Costa del Sol in the province of Malaga in southern Spain and in the province of Alicante in the autonomous community of Valencia in the eastern part of the country.
The investigation reportedly started in April 2020 when local authorities found out that the leaders of the organisation based in the municipalities of Estepona and Benahavis in the province of Malaga were in charge of obtaining drugs in Morroco.
Reports state that other members based in the municipalities of Gata de Gorgos, Teulada, Moraira and Calpe in the province of Alicante stored the drug.
The National Police confirmed that the criminal organisation had contacts with hitmen and had started to make contacts to buy speedboats to smuggle the drugs from northern Africa.
The branch of the organisation in Malaga reportedly also kidnapped two members of the branch in Alicante because a drug shipment had disappeared when it was being transported between the provinces and they used them as a guarantee that the drug would be returned.
Reports state that more than 80 officers were involved in the operation that resulted in the arrests of the 18 members of the gang, while 12 of them were put into pre-trial detention.
The arrested suspects are accused of drug trafficking, gun possession, kidnapping, falsifying documents and car robberies.