By Euro Weekly News Media • 22 November 2011 • 11:37
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POLICE suspect robbers who took more than 500kg of cocaine from a police storage unit in Malaga had inside information.
More than half a tonne of cocaine was taken from the store last weekend, and the local police forces have complained about the lack of surveillance at the facilities.
The thieves reportedly took cocaine and a small amount of heroin, but ignored the hashish which was also in the warehouse.
The police investigating the crime are “sure” that “someone inside” provided the thieves with information about the quantity of drugs being held there, and the fact that the security systems “failed every weekend and were not repaired until Monday”.
They report that the intruders allegedly switched off the alarms and cameras on Saturday night and were able to work undisturbed for the rest of the weekend. They even took the hard drive from the computer which contained images from the CCTV cameras.
They also took advantage of the fact that the arrival of several cruise ships at the port, where the building is located, led to more people being in the area, helping them to go undetected. The crime was not discovered until 7am on Monday when the guard arrived for work. The guard was normally present from Monday to Friday from 7am to 3pm, although since the robbery, someone is on duty 24 hours.
They are questioning anyone who is directly or indirectly involved with the premises, including several Guardia Civil.
A burned van which was allegedly used to carry the drugs was found in Malaga, having previously been stolen. They are also investigating gangs which use burning bars (thermal lances) to open safes.
Surveillance at the facilities was carried out by a private company which worked “office hours”. Reportedly there was no-one present in the afternoon or at the weekend.
Prosecutors and lawyers have suggested that large amounts of drugs no longer be stored in one area, and that instead, only samples are kept for evidence and the rest destroyed.
Malaga’s Chief Prosecutor, Antonio Morales, said it was a “terrible temptation” to keep such a large quantity of drugs in one place, and that it should be under better surveillance, the same as explosives or weapons.
He did say that he does not expect this robbery to affect any pending cases because samples are taken when drugs are seized and detailed reports are carried out. However, he said “it is a shame that all the hard work done by the police has gone to waste and the drugs will go back on the market”. The value of the stolen drugs on the black market is more than €10 million.
The police and Guardia Civil are demanding an explanation regarding the poor surveillance at the facilities and want to know whether it was due to “a lack of money or a lack of interest”. They had constantly complained about this and the fact that the quantity stored there was too large.
By Jennifer Leighfield
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