18 Mar, 2024 @ 13:40
1 min read

Reality TV star among dozens of arrests as international cocaine trafficking gang is busted in Spain

THE Guardia Civil has dismantled a major international group of cocaine traffickers who created a network to send consignments to Mallorca.

Operation Checkmate has seen the arrest of 74 people- Spanish and Columbian- over three phases.

The last bunch of arrests took place on Wednesday when Guardia officers raided 60 addresses in Mallorca and 11 in the Valencia area.

The Guardia said it was one of the biggest-ever drug raids in the Balearic Islands.

39 people were detained, with several kilos of hashish, marijuana, cocaine and crystal meth seized and eight marijuana plantations have been dismantled.

15 high-end vehicles, €220,000 in cash, two handguns and a shotgun have been seized, with 100 bank accounts and 32 properties valued at more than €7 million impounded.

One of those arrested- and subsequently bailed at the weekend- was Joaquin Fernandez, who has become well-known through the reality TV series, Gypsy Kings.


Another detainee was drug lord Pablo Campos Maya known as El Pablo who created a mansion in Palma’s La Soledat district by combining 10 houses.

A network of tunnels connected the properties to evade the police along with numerous security cameras installed in the street.


The gang made sure that drugs sales points had armoured doors and had plans in place to quickly destroy the cocaine if raided.

Also arrested last week was Carlos Cortes Rado- El Charly- who is the president of the Federation of Balearic Islands Gypsy Associations.

Cortes is well known in Palma for trying to mediate conflicts involving authorities and people of Roma ethnicity.

The Los Valencianos clan imported cocaine from a Columbian cartel into Spain via Portugal and then distributed supplies to Mallorca.

The Guardia Civil said that the operation included paying people at the ports of Palma and Valencia to turn a blind eye and haven’t ruled out the involvement of police officers.

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