Spanish police smash heroin smuggling ring, detain 10
Police in Spain have smashed one of the biggest heroin trafficking rings to operate in the country in recent years, arresting 10 people and seizing 30 kilos of the drug, police said Monday.
"Madrid was the nerve centre from where the head of the group gave orders to managed the activities of members in Iran, Iraq, Senegal, Ghana and Portugal," police said in a statement.
The suspected leaders of the group, which was based in Spain's Canary Islands, were detained while they tried to flee to another unspecified European Union nation.
Police seized the 30 kilos (66 pounds) of heroin in the Canary Islands and in the northwestern region of Catalonia.
The biggest seizure of heroin in Spain was carried out in August 2008 when police apprehended over 316 kilos of the drug on a yacht near Barcelona.
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.
© 2010 AFP