By Jo Pugh •
Published: 25 Aug 2023 • 13:46
The salon was the front for her drug trafficking operation. Credit: Freepik
The owner of a hairdressing salon in Ondara went beyond offering perms, haircuts, dyes, and styling.
The Guardia Civil has arrested a woman as the suspected mastermind of a dangerous criminal syndicate focused on street-level drug trafficking in the Marina Alta region.
An investigation was initiated in February 2023 when the Guardia Civil noticed a subtle rise in cocaine usage among small-scale users across the Marina Alta.
In an effort to avoid causing social alarm and to pinpoint those responsible, the El Verger branch of the Guardia’s Investigative Division initiated Operation Nobuki.
In the initial phase of the operation, investigators focused their suspicions on a Spanish couple residing in the small village of Beniarbeig.
Surveillance operations confirmed that the gang members were retailing drugs in towns such as Pego, Pedreguer, Jalon, Denia, Ondara, Orba, El Verger, and Beniarbeig, reported Levante EMV on Friday, August 25.
During the subsequent phase, efforts concentrated on outlining the gang’s structure and hierarchy.
This establishment served as a cover for laundering the ill-gotten gains. Next in line was her partner, a Spanish man responsible for distributing drugs to nearby towns.
In the lower ranks were three men (two Spanish and one Romanian) and a Spanish woman, tasked with selling substances to drug users.
On July 25, with support from the El Verger Guardia Civil and the ROCA Calpe team, agents executed searches at three properties in Beniarbeig, El Verger, Benimeli, and the Ondara hair salon.
The searches yielded seven grammes of cocaine, 280 grammes of hashish, 80 marijuana plants, 866 grammes of marijuana buds, drug processing equipment, and two vehicles used for drug transactions.
Firearms, including sawn off shotguns, ammunition, a fake gun, a compressed air weapon and a substantial machete, confirmed the dangerous nature of the gang.
The investigation culminated in the arrest of all gang members, except for one who was investigated. The detainees, aged between 27 and 59, were handed over to Denia court, who ordered their release, accompanied by precautionary measures
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
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