Policemen accused of stealing items seized in searches

TWO members of the Costa del Sol Drugs and Organized Crime Unit (UDYCO) are on trial for alleged irregularities in their work.

The two National Police officers are facing 19 and eight years in prison, as well as a four-year suspension in a trial which is expected to go on until July.

One of them, the former head of the unit in Marbella, is accused of embezzlement, falsehood, violating a sentence and retaining a person against their will.

As well as the sentence and suspension mentioned above the public prosecutor is asking for a 34-year ban from the police force.

The other officer, who was Chief Inspector of the Unit, is accused of failing to perform his duties, violating a sentence, embezzlement, coercion and illegal weapons possession.

The officers came under investigation in 2006, some two years after the unit dismantled a drug trafficking network in Marbella.

During the arrests one of the detainees lost a gold watch worth €20,000, which was handed over to the head of the unit who failed to provide a receipt for it.

According to the public prosecutor, he decided to keep it, and failed to mention it in any reports.

When the detainee’s lawyer asked for it, he denied having it, but later handed it over and wrote a report claiming that he had ordered a search of the police station to find it. During another operation, he allegedly took €1,000 and a case.

Meanwhile, the other officer on trial allegedly received complaints from lower ranking regarding the behaviour of their boss and despite knowing the truth about the gold watch, never reported the incident to his superiors.

The first officer is also accused of setting a wanted man free in 2005 without telling his superiors after the detainee agreed to become an informer.

However, when he was arrested again the officer allegedly “wanted nothing to do with him”, according to the prosecution.

With the help of this man, he is accused of setting up a drugs sale to boost his reputation in 2005. He allowed his informer to “escape” with the €30,000 from the transaction, which they later allegedly shared.

The other officer was approached by a Russian couple who wanted a detective so a friend could check on his wife.

He allegedly pretended to pay a private detective and used resources available to him thanks to his position in the UDYCO.

He is also charged with taking a TV seized during an operation home with him for more than a month, amongst other irregularities.

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