A TRENDY beach bar in Cadiz is at the centre of an alleged drug ring whose associates include high profile figures such as a Guardia Civil officer, a former Socialist councillor and three members of the military.
In total, 56 people have been arrested in connection to the group, with 716 kilos of cocaine and nearly four tonnes of hashish being seized by police during the operation.
Ringleader El Longui – who owned the bar in the resort of Zahara de los Atunes – is said to have contacts on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar and controlled drug shipments of hashish from Morocco to the Zahara area.
Recreational vessels were deployed to transport the drugs, under the protection of a local Guardia Civil officer and a municipal policeman who were both allegedly paid by the ring.
Guardia Civil sources said that when ‘there was a lot of surveillance’ the operation would be diverted to Punta Camrinal – a military base – where three army servicemen reportedly unloaded the merchandise.
The investigation began 11 months ago, following a drug seizure that led to the arrest of several suspects, including law enforcement officers.
Almost thirty homes were searched in Cádiz, Seville and Valencia, where firearms, €32,000 in cash and over 100 mobile phones were confiscated by investigators.
A former Socialist councilor from Paradas, Seville, was arrested following the searches and the Zahara bar was shut down.
Both El Longui and his top aide were arrested on August 12 and investigators said the pair had lived lavish lifestyles through ‘the abundance of economic profits’ that resulted from their drug activities.