A DRUG trafficking gang may have been behind a huge Costa del Sol fire.
Police have not yet ruled out the idea that brazen smugglers may have set ablaze to Manilva in a bid to divert attention from a huge marijuana haul.
The theory comes after a grey 4×4 was dragged out of the sea on a nearby beach the very next morning.
“It’s a well known tactic and has been done elsewhere before,” foreign British councillor for Manilva Dean Tyler Shelton told the Olive Press, “although I must stress it is just a line of inquiry for the moment.”
The grey vehicle is typical of drug gangs and is believed to have been dumped in the sea after its engine failed.
The fire started at around 1.30am on Sunday night, while the Manilva feria was celebrating its end with a fireworks display.
According to reports, several 4x4s were seen racing at high speed from the beach while the hills of Manilva burned.
“If drug gangs were behind the blaze, then it’s possible a huge amount of drugs was brought to shore that night,” added Shelton.
Some 400 residents had to be evacuated as the fire began encroaching on nearby homes.
It took emergency services until 8.30am to get the flames under control, providing the perfect smoke screen for the drug smugglers.
Rumours had circulated that the fireworks may have been to blame for the blaze, but these were quickly squashed given that the fire started around 6km away from the display.
More than 40 firefighters tackled the fires in the area of Los Hidalgos, Hacienda Guadalupe and El Goleto residential developments and campsites in the Duquesa area.
The mayor described the event as a ‘night of confusion’, and thanked the authorities for ensuring no one was hurt or injured.
Guardia Civil told the Olive Press they could not confirm the cause of the fire and added that INFOCA fire investigators needed at least two more days before arriving to a conclusion.
The investigation continues.