13 Britons arrested in EUR50m Costa drugs swoop

14th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 July 2005, MALAGA — Thirteen Britons have been arrested for smuggling cocaine and cannabis and laundering up to EUR50 million cash on Spain's Costa del Sol.

14 July 2005

MALAGA — Thirteen Britons have been arrested for smuggling cocaine and cannabis and laundering up to EUR50 million cash on Spain's Costa del Sol.

In an combined operation between British and Spanish police, three "highly dangerous" men wanted for murders allegedly committed in reprisal for drugs deals in the UK and Holland were arrested.

The boss of the gang, a Briton of Pakistani origin, was said to have a villa in Marbella. He was arrested in prison in Britain.

The operation — codenamed Sugar — saw police seize 11 fire arms, six luxury cars, EUR 150,000 in cash, jewellery in raids in Marbella, Mijas, Fuengirola and Malaga.

Bank accounts in various parts of Spain have been frozen and cash totalling "dozens of millions of euros" has been sized.

Police said the cash involved totalled EUR50m.

The gang was principally involved in smuggling cocaine and cannabis into Liverpool and Yorkshire in the UK.

The money from the drug deals was laundered in the Costa del Sol.

Four of those of arrested were detained in prison, one in Spain, and the others in Britain.  The others, all Britons, were arrested under international arrest warrants.

The boss of the gang was in charge of a large network in Spain, the UK, Holland and Dubai, bringing continual deliveries and supplies of cash in order to pay other drug suppliers, without having to use bank accounts.

Three of those arrested are accused of murder and attempted murder in the UK.

They were subjected to an international arrest order issued in Barcelona in March when they were arrested smuggling three kilos of cocaine.

Another was accused of a murder in Holland at the end of last year in connection with a failed drug deal.

Police said all those involved had lived a highly luxurious life, in large homes protected by elaborate security systems.

They were buying up homes using cash from the drugs deals. Often the price of the homes they would buy would be over-valued in order to hide the amount of cash they were laundering.

They spent at least EUR3m in shares in a British airline and also invested in other Indian companies.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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