The Spanish Civil Guard have busted a criminal gang suspected of exporting cannabis to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The bust took place in the municipality of San Vicente del Raspeig, which is located in the province of Alicante in eastern Spain, with the Civil Guard announcing the successful operation on Thursday, 3rd February.
The guard said that they led numerous surveillance operations targeting a house that was giving off a “strong smell” of cannabis.
They then conducted a raid on the building and dismantled the operation. The police said in a statement obtained by the Newsflash news agency that they seized 37 kilogrammes (82 lbs) of cannabis buds, as well as laboratory machinery that helped the criminals with handling the drugs as well as packaging them and checking their purity levels.
They also reportedly had devices for labelling and shipping the drugs, which the cops said were destined for the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The police said that they had arrested eight people of Spanish, Dutch, English, Cuban and Romanian nationalities, two of whom were remanded in custody, with the others released with a ban on leaving the country.
No names were given by the authorities and it is currently unclear how many British nationals were detained in the raid.
The police said that the detained people are accused of drug trafficking, cultivation and production of narcotic substances, electricity theft and organised crime.
As well as the 37 kilogrammes of cannabis seized, the police also reportedly found five vehicles including two transport vans and three passenger cars. Two of the cars were reportedly luxury vehicles.
The police also said that they seized EUR 15,000 in cash, a fake handgun and an airgun.
The police said that the grow operation was a hydroponic installation that was powered after the alleged crooks tapped into a main power line, achieved by the crooks by digging a six-metre- (20-foot-) long tunnel that reached a depth of two metres (7 feet).
The police said that the infrastructure set up by the suspected drug traffickers could house over 1,000 plants.
The police said that the suspects have extensive criminal records.
It is currently unclear if they have been formally charged.