Al­bir Bri­ton ar­rested over Spain-UK drug traf­fick­ing

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News -

By Shel­ley Liddell ALI­CANTE Guardia Civil have ar­rested a 60-year-old Bri­tish man in Al­bir and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an­other 42year-old Brit for al­leged crimes of drug traf­fick­ing and be­long­ing to a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Dur­ing the course of the op­er­a­tion, of­fi­cers seized mar­i­juana and equip­ment used to grow plants in­doors, as well as heavy in­dus­trial ma­chin­ery.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to the Bri­ton's ar­rest com­menced when Guardia Civil of­fi­cers at Madrid's Adolfo Suarez-Bara­jas Air­port be­came sus­pi­cious of an item of freight be­ing sent to a UK res­i­dent.

The of­fi­cers sus­pected that the item of heavy ma­chin­ery could have drugs hid­den in­side it, and a search re­vealed 63 ki­los of mar­i­juana di­vided up into 52 per­fectly sealed pack­ages.

As the freight orig­i­nated from Ali­cante, the case was passed to the Guardia Civil's Or­gan­ised Crime and An­tidrug Team in Ali­cante.

En­quiries led the of­fi­cers to a ware­house used by a food ex­port busi­ness on La Nucía's in­dus­trial es­tate. This was the ideal cover for ex­port­ing drugs out of the coun­try. The prop­erty was rented in the name of a Bri­tish res­i­dent who lived in Al­bir.

This man was found to be vis­it­ing leisure venues and homes be­long­ing to other Brits, and he was seen to be very wary about any po­lice pres­ence. While he was un­der sur­veil­lance he also trav­elled to the UK for four days to su­per­vise the de­liv­ery of his "goods".

When he was away, Guardia Civil of­fi­cers ob­tained a war­rant to search his home. Here they seized a large amount of tools and equip­ment to grow mar­i­juana in­doors, in­clud­ing 750 black plas­tic pots, four car­bon fil­ters, three ex­trac­tor fans, three transformers, three fans, and £380 in cash. The drugs and equip­ment seized were val­ued at around €311,170.

On the Bri­tish man's re­turn, of­fi­cers were wait­ing to ar­rest him, ac­cus­ing him of a crime against pub­lic health (drug traf­fick­ing). He has been sent to jail by a judge, pend­ing court pro­ceed­ings.

The other Brit, 42, who is also res­i­dent in Al­bir, is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The UK po­lice au­thor­i­ties were tipped off by the Guardia Civil and were able to ar­rest the re­ceiver of the mar­i­juana ship­ment in the UK.

Th­ese ar­rests have dis­man­tled an Ali­cante-based crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to ex­port­ing mar­i­juana, hid­den in­side dif­fer­ent items of mer­chan­dise, from Spain to the UK.

A kilo of mar­i­juana has a mar­ket value of €1,400, but once in the UK its value al­most triples to €3,947, which is why drug traf­fick­ers con­sider it worth­while in­tro­duc­ing it into the UK.

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