Spanish police smash hashish network, arrest 13

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Police in Spain have smashed a ring that smuggled hashish into the country from Morocco, arresting 13 people and seizing 162 kilos (357 pounds) of the drug, police said Thursday.

Four high-end cars and 13,600 euros (17,300 dollars) in cash were also seized as part of their operation which began in June and had three phases, mostly carried out in the northwestern region of Galicia, a statement said.

The suspects include six Spanish men, six Moroccan men and a Brazilian woman. They are all between the ages of 20 and 40.

With a maze of coves, caves and inlets dotting its undeveloped coastline, Galicia has long been a smuggler's paradise.

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 an important gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.

© 2010 AFP

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