AN ALICANTE gourmet food shop owner has been arrested for running an illegal gambling den out of his premises.

The unnamed man has also been charged with drug trafficking.

Access to his ‘secret’ gaming room was via a door concealed by a food shelf display.

Up to 40 people took part in the illegal poker games which were promoted through messages on social media sites.

Alcohol flowed freely during the gaming sessions and cocaine was consumed and sold, as the players flouted coronavirus restrictions.

The Policia Nacional heard about the clandestine night-time gatherings and launched a surveillance operation on the shop.

Several people entering the store after midnight were intercepted, along with the owner.

He was arrested for drug trafficking after agents discovered 12 packs of cocaine that were ready for sale.

They also found a precision scale and €420 in cash.

The proprietor was separately charged by Alicante’s Policia Local for not having a gambling licence.

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