Scotland-Alicante drug trafficking gang smashed

FIVE Britons were among 14 people arrested in a massive drug swoop in Alicante, Spain’s National Police said.

They are a Glasgow man and woman, two men from Northamptonshire and Middlesbrough and a Dutch born British woman.

A Belgian national and a Spanish man were also arrested believed to head up the alleged drug smuggling operation and acted as a go-between with the Scottish arm of the business.

The detainee’s bank accounts have been frozen and are thought to contain in the region of €600,000.

They were arrested as part of a 14-month joint operation between Spanish and Scottish police forces that focused on high-value drug movements in the Alicante area.

The drug smuggling ring allegedly transported cocaine and hashish in cars and vans from Alicante to Scotland via the English Channel.

Drug sale profits were laundered in real estate investments in the holiday destinations of the Costa Blanca, according to police reports.

Investigations began late 2010 in the Levante area where members of the Scottish-based wing of the operation reportedly settled.

“We can confirm the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency is working with Spanish law enforcement as part of an ongoing investigation,” said Detective Superintendent Jim Reid of the SCDEA, as reported in the Herald Scotland.

In the first wave of arrests two British citizens and a Spanish man were arrested, while €2,500 cash and three vehicles, one of which hid 108kg of hashish, were among the items seized.

Then a van with 3.1kg of high-purity cocaine was found hidden in the fuel tank of a truck destined for a cross-channel crossing with several cars used to shuttle the drugs between various locations on the route between Spain and Scotland.

Five people were detained and the drugs, the van and four other cars seized.

The six expatriates were the latest to be arrested after 250 marijuana plants were found in purpose-built greenhouses in the garage and basement of one of four raided properties.

By Nicole Hallett

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Euro Weekly News Media

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