Crackdown on Costa del Sol crime gangs
12 February 2004, MARBELLA - A crackdown against organised crime in the Costa del Sol was launched Thursday.
12 February 2004
MARBELLA - A crackdown against organised crime in the Costa del Sol was launched Thursday.
The regional government of Malaga is to increase the staff
of the National Police force, which tackles serious crime, particularly drug dealing.
Carlos Rubio, the deputy governor of the regional government in Malaga, said the administration and the National Police will launch a "specific campaign" against organised crime in the region.
Rubio said that the number of crimes in the province of Malaga had fallen by a "notable" 7.5 percent in the past year.
But in Marbella crimes had only increased by 1.7 percent compared with the year before.
Rubio said he believed that these statistics were "favourable" because last year was "very complicated in terms of the numbers of tourists, which had broken all records".
The Costa del Sol was for many years characterized as the "Costa del Crime" as it became a hiding place for many of Britain's most notorious criminals.
More recently though, with extradition treaties in force between Spain and Britain and other countries, it has become more popular with criminals from Eastern Europe, particularly Russia.
Many of the gang bosses have luxurious homes in some of the more affluent areas.
But an academic study by the University of Malaga last year said that many organized criminals were exploiting corrupt local politicians who would agree to questionable land deals.
The dealers would then launder drugs money by buying property in these areas.
Rubio said the number of National Police officers would be increased in all Spain.
But he added that in the Costa del Sol there would be "an important reinforcement" with more officers offered jobs there.
He acknowledged that in the Marbella area there was a "deficit" in the numbers of officers and these had not increased since 1995.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news