Albir Briton arrested over Spain-UK drug trafficking
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.