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Police bust large-scale drugs operation across the Axarquía

There was a heavy police presence in Añoreta.
There was a heavy police presence in Añoreta. / SUR
  • Several vacant flats from La Cala del Moral to Chilches were taken over by gangs who filled them with squatters to look after marijuana crops

A large-scale operation which began early in the morning last Thursday in the Axarquía has resulted in the arrest of 21 people and the dismantling of a widespread operation in which apartments were illegally occupied and used for the production of marijuana crops.

Residents in coastal areas of the Axarquía were alerted to the operation by a large police presence, both on the ground and in the air. However, confusion reigned for much of the day with many fearing that an accident had taken place or that it was somehow related to the enforcement of coronavirus restrictions. The truth, however, was slowly uncovered in the following days.

More than 20 properties were raided simultaneously between La Cala del Moral and Chilches Costa, the majority of which were located in Añoreta, and dozens of marijuana crops (some active, some not) were uncovered.

According to SUR sources, the masterminds behind the operation targeted vacant properties, most of which are Aifos developments, now in the possession of bankruptcy administrators. In August they then moved in several families from Rincón de la Victoria who would be able to stay in the properties in exchange for paying the community fees (50 euros), facilitating the movement of drugs and, in many cases, looking after the crops installed inside.

Overall, their neighbours were delighted by the new arrivals as the cash injection meant serious improvements could be carried out in their residential complexes for the first time in years, including repairs to two elevators and the employment of a concierge.

Neighbours that SUR consulted said that they were "normal" people and never caused problems. However, they suspected what was going on behind closed doors but only last Thursday was this confirmed to them.