THE Mayor of El Ejido has been arrested for money laundering and bribery.

Police swooped on the Almerian town hall, taking 20 people into custody, including Juan Enciso Ruiz.

The group are also accused of the embezzlement of funds and the falsification of documents.

In addition to searching the town hall, the investigation – called Operation Poniente – probed the offices of 12 companies with links to the council.

The nation-wide operation has also led to in arrests in Madrid, Sevilla and Almeria city.

Mayor Enciso founded the Partido de Almeria after being expelled from the Partido Popular in 2005.