POLICE have smashed an international drugs ring and arrested 18 alleged smugglers in Alicante and Malaga.
The gang of Moroccan, French, Indian and Spanish nationals have been detained for the crimes of drug trafficking, illegal possession of weapons, kidnapping, vehicle theft and document forgery.
Over 400 kilos of hashish was seized, as well as various semi-automatic weapons, ammunition, over €220,000 in cash and six high-end vehicles.
Joint Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil Investigations were carried out in the Marina Alta and Baja areas of Alicante during lockdown in April.
Police sources said they had identified a ‘complex criminal organisation, dedicated to drug trafficking.’
Connections with the Costa del Sol were soon established, as were links with Morocco and France.
Members of the gang working from Estepona and Benahavis were allegedly responsible for drug importation directly from Morocco, using specially-adapted €200,000 speedboats.
Two houses in the area were searched and semi-automatic weapons were found, establishing connections to various hit-men and other criminals.
The northern branch, working out of Gata de Gorgos, Teulada, Moraira and Calpe in Alicante, consisted of Moroccan and Spanish nationals and were tasked with storing the hashish and prepare it for transportation to France.
In Calpe, some of the drugs were distributed locally from a hairdressing salon run by one of the gang.
Agents discovered there was ‘tension’ and mistrust between the two branches of the organisation, leading gang bosses to kidnap an Alicante-based member and hold him for three weeks as a guarantee of payment.
During full lockdown, the Malaga-based group travelled 550km to Calpe to kidnap another member of the Alicante party, demanding more than €300,000 for his release.
Police swooped on both gangs in 10 different locations on June 2, using more than 80 officers.
To date, 18 members of the gang have been detained, 12 of whom are already in prison awaiting trial.