Drugs and other items seized by the police. / sur

Cocaine in gift bags: police discover Benalmádena souvenir shop being used as drugs outlet

Four people have been arrested after a search of the seafront premises also revealed supplies of hashish and marijuana hidden in a false ceiling

SUR Malaga

It was a souvenir shop like any other on the seafront in Benalmádena, the sort of place to buy a fridge magnet, sun cream or one of the ever-popular flamenco dolls. In this case, though, the business was selling more than gifts for foreign tourists: those in the know could go there to buy cocaine hidden in gift bags or other types of drug that were kept hidden in a false ceiling.

Two men and two women have now been arrested as part of police operation ‘Coches’ and a quantity of drugs seized, including 334 grammes of cocaine divided into 245 doses prepared for sale, 22.96 grammes of hashish and 1.87 grammes of marijuana. The police also confiscated 6,950 euros in cash, a motorcycle, nine mobile phones, a notebook and tools for preparing the doses of the drug.

The operation began in early September when officers became aware that a Benalmádena resident who was known to them was selling cocaine on a small and medium scale. Their investigation led them to the souvenir shop on the seafront; they checked customers who were coming out and discovered that they were in possession of drugs.

The police then obtained a search warrant for the shop and the home of the main suspects.

Of the four people who were arrested, the 42-year-old man who is believed to have been the leader of the group has been remanded in custody as a preventive measure.