POLICE have swooped on more than 20 criminals lurking on the Costa del Sol as part of a record European-wide drugs raid.
At least 32 people are reported to have been nabbed as part of the operation which saw 11 arrests in the UK and one in Ireland.
Crime lynchpin, nicknamed the Godfather, Christopher ‘Christy’ Kinahan, an Irish-born Briton, was also nabbed at his luxury Estepona villa.
The 53-year-old’s alleged right-hand man, John Cunningham, was also arrested, as well as his two sons Christy Jr. and Daniel at his home.
The gang is suspected of supplying drugs to Europe as well as firearms to inner-city gangs in the UK.
“We also believe this network has been offering a global investment service, ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty cash into offshore accounts, companies and property on behalf of criminals.”
It is also believed to have organised money laundering scams involving building projects with other criminal groups.
“We also believe this network has been offering a global investment service, ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty cash into offshore accounts, companies and property on behalf of criminals,” said a statement released by the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
A number of lawyers have also been apprehended in connection with these allegations and there are further searches taking place in Marbella, Estepona and Fuengirola.
“Today’s arrests will have dealt a major blow to an organised criminal business suspected of supplying drugs and guns to gangs in cities across the UK and Europe,” added SOCA.
Some 750 agents from Britain, Spain and Ireland were all involved in the largest ever operation undertaken by SOCA.
Officers also searched property in Belgium, Cyprus and Brazil.