Spanish police detain British drug kingpin in luxury villa
Spanish police announced Friday they had detained one of Europe's most wanted drug lords in his luxury villa on the Costa del Sol.
Briton Robert Dawes was detained on November 12 in a dawn raid coordinated by the EU's law enforcement agency Europol on his home in the southern resort of Benalmadena, where he lived with his family and bodyguards, the Guardia Civil police force said.
The 44-year-old "headed up the biggest criminal organisation in Britain and Europe devoted to drug trafficking, money laundering and murder," the police said in a statement.
According to the Guardia Civil, Dawes would regularly meet up with representatives of South American criminal organisations in luxury hotels in Madrid, such as the Medellin Cartel once headed up by Colombia's notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
And from his base in the southern region of Andalucia, he would import "furniture from China and fruit containers from South America which he would fill with large quantities of cocaine."
His cartel also trafficked heroine from Turkey and Afghanistan to Britain, police said.
Dawes is also being probed in The Netherlands over a wave of murders there in 2014 and 2015, allegedly aimed at taking control of the traffic of cocaine in several European countries, they added.
A group of policemen from several countries was formed to probe his sprawling criminal empire, which had connections from Portugal, France, and Belgium to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Venezuela and Mexico.
It also bought large amounts of drugs from Italy's secretive 'Ndrangheta mafia, which is thought to run much of Europe's cocaine trade from its homeland of Calabria.
© 2015 AFP