A MAJOR drugs smuggling gang which made so much money its leader kept a plane ‘landed’ over his home’s front gate has been smashed.
Police made 24 raids including on one extensive estate said by police to have been the gang’s central lair.
In an apparent attempt to mimic notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, a real plane was fixed to the arch of a courtyard gateway emblazoned with the name Hacienda Napoles – the same name as Escobar’s estate.
The interior was decorated with photographs of gang members wielding guns and grasping large amounts of cash.
Police say the building was used as a display of wealth and power to impress other criminals and was used to close drug transactions and hold celebrations.
Over €8 million worth of criminal assets have been seized and 75 suspects arrested during the crackdown on the international marihuana trafficking network operating from the Spanish province of Granada.
Code-named ‘Vangelis’, the operation was led by Guardia Civil who worked closely with the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation (Centralne Biuro Sledecze Policji) and Europol.
During the campaign, Spanish investigators executed 24 search warrants and found 2,690 cannabis plants with a street value of over €3 million.
A total of 36 properties and 50 vehicles, valued at over €8 million, as well as close to €200,000 in cash were seized. A further €370,000 have been blocked on the criminals’ bank accounts.
Sixty nine Spanish nationals and six Poles now face drugs trafficking and money laundering charges.