Spanish police smash British drug ring in Ibiza

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Police have dismantled a British-based drug trafficking ring on the Spanish holiday island of Ibiza with the arrest of 25 people, including 20 Britons, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

"The ring operated from Britain and it had two branches on the island: one to develop contacts on the Mediterranean island and a second charged with distributing narcotics," the police said in a statement.

The group is alleged to have sold narcotics mainly at nightclubs on the island, whose beaches and active nightlife draw tens of thousands of British tourists each year.

Aside from the 20 Britons, police also detained two Irish nationals and Czech, Slovak and Spanish citizens.

They also seized 38,000 ecstasy pills, four kilogrammess (8.8 pounds) of cocaine along with the hallucinogenic tranquilizer ketamine, derivatives of ecstasy and 56,000 euros (71,000 dollars) in cash.

Police said the drugs were smuggled into Spain from Britain by car or by passengers arriving on Ibiza by air.

They began their investigation into the group in September 2009 together with Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) following the dismantling of another major British drug trafficking ring on the island.

© 2010 AFP

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