A SERIES of photos released by police has revealed the extravagant and over the top interiors of some of southern Spain’s biggest drug lords.
Designer candles, tiger heads and pool slides are just some of the features of the homes situated between the Campo de Gibraltar, Sevilla and Malaga.
According to authorities, the gangs make so much cash that they have to splurge on luxury items to get rid of it, hence ‘designer everything’ is the norm, down to the pillowcases and even stair banisters.
Police have raided dozens of properties since launching the Campo de Gibraltar Special Security Plan just over two years ago.
Guardia Civil, Policia Nacional, Udyco and other forces are constantly carrying out operations, particularly in the Campo and Cadiz province.
However the plan was extended in July to include Malaga, Sevilla and Huelva after police pressure forced traffickers to move operations further afield.
The constant raids are giving further insights into how the so-called narcos live – including their questionable taste.
“They are still big children who have a lot of money and have to spend it quickly,” a Guardia Civil source told ABC, “They have money to burn and they buy whatever they want without even looking at the price tag.”
A typical narco pad will have a huge TV in every room, pools with slides, hot tubs, barbecues and spa rooms.
The home of El Pincho, a Campo de Gibraltar kingpin who is still on the run, reportedly left officers speechless.
The San Roque property, in El Albarracin, has three floors and a pool converted into mini theme park with life-size figures of two saber tigers, a cobra, flamingos, monkeys and other birds.
The house itself was filled with Moai Easter Island statues and a crocodile statue measuring several metres which served as a bench.
There was also a spa and a jacuzzi next to the pool.
“These people love hot tubs, it is something we always find in their homes,” the source added.
The rooms all had their own themes, such as Greece, Egypt and India, complete with strobe lights and bedding by Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Emporio Armani and candles from Versace.
Meanwhile the master bedroom features a huge walk-in wardrobe packed with designer clothes and accessories and another jacuzzi next to a wall feature of the Hindu goddess Ganesha.
The homes usually only feature walk-in closets, like that of Cayetan Marmolejo, who was the secretary general of the city council of Jimena de la Frontera before being arrested for money laundering for her partner and leader of the well-known Los Peluos clan.
The contents of her wardrobe were valued at €1 million.
The source added: “If there are women, they have all kinds of accessories. They love branded hats and glasses. You see collections of very expensive signature caps in the wardrobe as if they were trophies.
“They have a lot of clothing and accessories and, almost always, many items still with the labels on. They have not even worn them.
“They cannot keep the money, it is a way they launder part of the drug trafficking profits.
“Many houses are very messy because they have so many things that it is impossible to keep them tidy. It is seen in the dressing rooms or in the bedrooms. We have come to find rooms filled with boxes of shoes or brand new clothes, but also toys.”
Indeed the children are also well looked after.
The source adds: “If they like SpongeBob, they have a whole wall painted. We have found a huge pirate ship decorating a swimming pool. They always have the latest and a lot of it.”
The pirate ship was found in the home of Gareth Mauro, a Gibraltarian who leads another of the most important drug trafficking gangs in the Campo and who is currently on the run, believed to have fled to Morocco.
Teenagers too are spoilt with the latest technology and all types of vehicles, including quad bikes and racing bikes, as well as the latest skiing or diving equipment.
In Villa Narco, and illegal urbanisation built by and for drug traffickers in El Zabal, in La Linea de la Concepcion, every last detail comes with a hefty price tag, including a stair bannister from Versace.
There are at least 19 homes in the illegal neighbourhood and there is a constant police presence.
An Olive Press journalist was recently ordered to leave by a police agent armed with a semi-automatic gun while investigating the area.