US Marijuana Party

Monday, May 22, 2006

Police smash European drug smuggling ring in Spain

Swissinfo, Switzerland

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police arrested 26 people and seized over 15 tonnes of marijuana when they smashed a drug smuggling ring on Spain's south coast, officials said on Monday.

Police seized guns, 17 vehicles and one million euros cash in one of the biggest drug busts on Spain's Costa del Sol -- dubbed the "Costa del Crime" by British tabloids for its reputation as a hot spot for organised crime.

The gang has smuggled up to 200 tonnes of drugs since 2003 to Britain, Ireland and other countries in Europe inside pallets used for transporting goods, police said.

Spanish, French, British and Portuguese police investigations showed the gang bought real estate in an effort to launder its profits.

The operation follows a report by European police agency Europol last month which highlighted increased cross-border cooperation among organised crime groups to boost drug sales.


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