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Guardia Civil bring down mafia clan operating on the Costa del Sol

The drugs cache found in La Línea.
The drugs cache found in La Línea. / SUR
  • An offshoot of the Camorra mafia group, believed to be responsible for two kidnappings in Manilva, has been disbanded

The so-called 'Operación Marverick II', orchestrated by the organised crime unit of the Guardia Civil (UCO), has led to the arrest of 14 people - 13 of whom are in prison - part of the Banda della Marranella offshoot of the Camorra mafia group operating in the Costa del Sol.

The group, which specialised in kidnappings and stealing drugs from other traffickers, seized large quantities of hashish on the Costa del Sol, before sending them on to Italy to be resold.

A key part of the investigation was the detection of a mobile home in France which had set off from Malaga heading for Italy with 325 kilogrammes of hashish on board.

Investigations found that the group would regularly contract a man and a woman (usually a prostitute) to drive the vehicle, loaded with between 400 and 500 kilos on each trip, posing as a couple of holidaymakers.

The drugs were normally acquired with the cooperation of British, Moroccan and Romanian nationals operating on the Costa del Sol and in the Campo de Gibraltar who helped to steal and intercept drugs from other trafficking groups.

However, the group is also believed to be responsible for two kidnappings in Manilva - one which resulted in a shootout.

As part of the operation, the Guardia Civil also located an underground cache on a property in La Línea, where between 10 and 12 tonnes of hashish were hidden.