Drugs gang caught with 150 diamonds
18 December 2003
MADRID – An international gang of cocaine smugglers were caught with 150 diamonds, police said Thursday.
Members of the gang were arrested with the diamonds and EUR 80,000 in cash hidden on a boat in the Azores.
The gang had been trafficking large quantities of cocaine from South America to Spain and Britain, hidden in small sailing boats.
The police operation –called ‘Sailing Boat’ – had been a joint investigation by Spain’s national drugs squad, the British police and officers from Portugal.
Five people were arrested in raids in Bilbao and Alicante and officers seized 812 kilogrammes of cocaine, police said Thursday.
One of those arrested was responsable for the transport and acquisition of the drugs. Two others were detained in Bilbao. A fourth man an international warrant for his arrest.
The fifth man, who was arrested in Alicante, was said to be responsible for the distribution of the drug throughout Spain.
Police seized EUR 80,000 and 150 diamonds. They also found a number of computers, mobile telephones and other electronic organisers as well as documents and a large car.
The arrests were partly the result of the capture of a sailing boat, which was bearing a Belgian flag, in the Portuguese dependency of the Azores on 11 December.
On board was 812 kgs of cocaine which has been hidden in the kitchen by two crew members.
[copyright EFE with Expatica]
subject: Spanish news