Sunday, 24 October 2010

TWELVE British nationals have been arrested in various towns in the province of Alicante.

TWELVE British nationals have been arrested in various towns in the province of Alicante.

Five vehicles, a boat, precision scales, and 53,000 ecstasy pills have been seized, and a cannabis plantation has been dismantled in Crevillente (Alicante)

The members of the group travelled regularly to the United Kingdom in order to smuggle the drugs hidden in double-bottom suitcases and vehicles from there.

During Operation ZUMO, a joint operation between the Spanish Guardia Civil and SOCA (UK Serious and Organised Crime Agency), the 12 arrested (8 men and 4 women), all from the United Kingdom are suspected members of an active criminal organisation involved in trafficking designer drugs and cannabis on the Levante coast and the island of Ibiza, where they were in contact with another organisation dismantled by the Guardia Civil last August during the course of Operation Flecha.

During the Operation, the Civil Guard searched six homes in the province of Alicante (three in Torrevieja and three in Orihuela), a six metre long boat, moored in the port of Torreviejaand a cannabis plantation in the Crevillente area.

The investigation started in May this year when the investigators heard about the establishment, in the province of Alicante, of a group of people from Liverpool who could be involved in drug trafficking in leisure centres on the Levante coast.

The organisation was put under surveillance and in June one of the members of the group was arrested, when he tried to smuggle more than 50,000 designer drug pills hidden in the doors of a vehicle that was about to embark in Denia for Ibiza.

The drugs were due to be distributed to other organisations based in Ibiza during the summer period.

The group that has just been dismantled are thought to have made daily visits to discotheques and leisure centres on the Levante coast, where they stayed and sold the drugs until closing time.

From time to time, when they ran out of drugs, some of their members travelled to the United Kingdom to purchase new supplies that they themselves smuggled into Spain hidden in double-bottom vehicles or suitcases that arrived by air.

The organisation also possessed a vehicle in an out-of-the-way place in the Crevillente area (Alicante), a cannabis plantation equipped with all necessary items (irrigation, electricity, heating, containers, etc.) where more than 100 cannabis plants were seized.

From the start of the operation the investigators were in contact with SOCA, who sent a number of officers to assist the Guardia Civil during the investigations.

The investigation was led by the Examining Magistrates Court in Torrevieja.

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