Right, the plants the police expected to find. Left, their suprise discovery. / sur

A snappy shock for police searching a Marbella cannabis club

Among the marijuana plants, hashish and sweets laced with cannabis they expected to find, officers also discovered an alligator

JUAN CANO / ÁLVARO FRÍAS Malaga

When officers from Marbella’s Local Police force went into a pro-cannabis club in San Pedro Alcántara, they had no idea that a surprise was awaiting them. But there it was, among the vegetation, the sweets laced with drugs and a supply of hashish: an alligator, in a reptile tank. The operation concluded with three people being arrested, the drugs being seized and the alligator passed on to the Guardia Civil's environmental and nature protection division, Seprona.

The police suspected that the club was being used to traffic drugs and sent plain clothes officers to search the premises and see what was going on. That proved more difficult than expected: as soon as they entered, they were confronted by a man who tried to stop them going any further. He shouted and tried to assault them, but they managed to contain him using a minimum amount of force.

The police then began to search the premises. At first they found what they were expecting: two rooms containing marijuana plants with infra-red lamps, fans and humidifiers.

Dangerous

Then, they found the alligator. As none of those associated with the premises could provide they were the legal owner of the animal, which is classified as potentially dangerous, it was taken to Seprona for safekeeping while an investigation is carried out.

The officers then removed plastic bags containing 1.37 kilos of marijuana buds, two kilos of marijuana plants, 0.53 kilos of hashish, 82.4 grammes of liquid resin and 5.2 grammes of cannabis pollen. They also seized sweets laced with cannabis, six mobile phones, presses and scales, among other items.

The three people detained as a result of this operation were a 21-year-old from Marbella and two French men aged 35. They are all accused of an offence against public health, and one is also accused of assault, resisting arrest and refusing to comply with the authorities.