Police dealt the biggest ever blow to local drug traffickers. / SUR

Police raids deal 'biggest blow ever' to drug traffickers

A joint operation arrested 61 people in one of the biggest drug busts ever

J. CANO / A. FRÍAS

A joint operation by the National Police and Guardia Civil has broken up what is considered the biggest drug trafficking gang in the Campo de Gibraltar. Sixty-one people have been arrested.

Gang members in Morocco and Spain allegedly controlled the ports of Tangiers and Algeciras by bribing police, customs officers and other officials to bring huge quantities of cocaine and hashish into Spain.

The investigation began in February last year after police seized 13 tonnes of hashish hidden among consignments of fruit. The authorities discovered that the same organisation had been responsible for previously bringing 16 tonnes of cocaine from South America in ships' cargo. The gang used premises in Marbella where hashish was crushed before being transported.

In raids on 34 homes, five firearms, nine lorries, seven refrigerated trailers, 27 cars, 18 luxury watches, precious stones and works of art were seized. The financial loss suffered by the organisation as a result of this operation is estimated to be more than one billion euros.