Three men arrested by the Guardia Civil are believed to be the leaders of a gang based in Malaga that was dedicated to supplying firearms to drug traffickers and for the 'settling of scores'.
During 'Operation Nongreta' officers seized a veritable arsenal with 160 firearms – including 121 hand guns, 22 assault rifles and eight submachine guns, as well as numerous ammunition, silencers and even a grenade with 1.5 kilogrammes of military-grade explosives.
Police say that the three arrested had been operating for three years, buying from abroad before modifying them in a secret workshop.
The investigation began a year ago after there was an alarming increase in cases of ‘settling of scores’ among drug traffickers on the Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar, as well as cases of overturning – the theft of drugs among the trafficking groups themselves.
Investigations led to a man of German nationality who had lived in Coín for years under the false guise of a foreign pensioner. However, when exchanging information with the German police, they discovered that he had an arrest warrant against him for an arsenal that was found in Hannover.
It was at his home in Coín where investigators found a sophisticated clandestine workshop, where he manipulated weapons before making them available to the drug traffickers.
The second of the three leaders of the gang, also of German nationality, was the one in charge of the storage and concealment of the weapons. Police sources explained that he packed them in sealed bags and kept them in a warehouse that he had rented. It was at this location that officers located a large arsenal of weapons, parts and ammunition, in which there was even an anti-tank grenade with a kilo and a half of military-grade explosives.
Spain’s Interior Ministry has said that this man is linked to extreme right groups and Nazi movements. At his home, as well as in the warehouse where he kept the weapons, he had a museum with Nazi-themed objects, uniforms and flags.
The third of those arrested is a British man who, it is alleged, was in charge of acting as an intermediary in the sale of arms between the Germans and the drug gangs on the Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar. Police sources claim he has a history of drug trafficking and used numerous false identities and passports to avoid being identified. The same sources say he carried the weapons hidden in false floors of high-end vehicles.