Spanish police smash hashish ring, arrest 53 people
Spanish police said Tuesday they have smashed a ring that smuggled hashish from Morocco to several European nations, mainly France and Italy, arresting 53 people and seizing 3.5 tonnes of the drug.
The hashish was first transported from the north African country by boat to Spain, from where it was shipped across Europe by a fleet of trucks, police said in a statement.
Four of the arrests were carried out in France. The leader of the group, a Moroccan national, was among those detained.
Police seized one million euros ($1.3 million) in cash, over 200 mobile telephones and 40 vehicles, including five trucks and four vans, as part of their operation in addition to the hashish.
Spain's proximity to north Africa, a key source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine producing region, have made it a major gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.
© 2012 AFP