Spanish top police officers detained on criminal charges

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Spanish police have detained four police officers, including three chiefs responsible for fighting organised crime, on charges of several criminal offences, police said Wednesday.

13 March 2008

MALAGA - Spanish police have detained four police officers, including three chiefs responsible for fighting organised crime, on charges of several criminal offences, police said Wednesday.

The four worked on the southern Costa del Sol coast, which is known for the presence of numerous international criminal rings. The three chiefs were based in Malaga, Marbella and Fuengirola.

The officers were suspected of keeping objects they had confiscated from criminals, making illegal house searches and revealing confidential information to outsiders.

One of them was already awaiting trial on charges of helping an Italian drug trafficker flee.

An entrepreneur and an interpreter were also held.

The affair was "painful and delicate," because it affected the reputation of the national police force, government delegate Hilario Lopez Luna said.

Senior official Antonio Camacho stressed that police themselves had discovered the alleged irregularities in their midst.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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