Keeping it in the family
Grandmother accused of running drug dealing operation from tapas bar
By Dave Jones GUARDIA Civil have busted a ‘family’ drug dealing gang based in Torrevieja, arresting 11 suspects.
A force spokesman said the arrests came after officers discovered that a tapas bar in the town was the centre for a dealing operation.
“A 60-year-old woman of innocent appearance would open her bar at 07.00 each morning to serve up something more than just food,” noted the spokesman.
“As the day progressed, her daughter, son-in-law and 16-year-old grandson would join her to offer clients the drugs that they wanted.”
Outside of the bar ‘the family clan’ was represented by a ‘brother and a friend’ who dealt drugs in other areas of the municipality.
When officers had gathered sufficient evidence, they moved to arrest the suspects.
According to the spokesman, they detained the grandmother as she went to open the bar ‘with a number of pieces of hashish in her bag’.
The five other suspects were arrested as they carried out raids on another two properties.
Officers seized 300 grams of hashish, three grams of cocaine, 10 grams of a substance used to cut drugs, €2,471 in cash and a vehicle.
The spokesman explained that the raids allowed them to establish the whereabouts of the man who supplied them with cocaine and hashish – a 41-year-old Algerian who lived in Los Alcázares.
He explained that this suspect ran another bar and a telephone exchange in Torrevieja and stored the drugs at an apartment in the town.
The Algerian man was arrested along with four other suspects – three from Algeria and a Bulgarian – who allegedly sold the drugs to the family clan.
In this phase of the operation officers raided two businesses and four homes, seizing 700 grams of hashish, 180 grams of cocaine, 290 grams of a substance for cutting the drugs, €3,705 in cash, an air rifle and two vehicles.
The suspects have been accused of drug dealing and belonging to a criminal organisation.
They have all been sent to prison on remand, apart from the youth who has been bound over to family members. The Segura river and water authority (CHS) has released a video of an otter swimming in the river near Benejúzar in the Vega Baja. A CHS spokesman reminded that otters had disappeared from the river in the 1990s. However, they have made a comeback due the improved environmental condition of the waterway. “Otters are a good indicator of the health of rivers because they are predators and need a lot of food,” he explained. The spokesman noted that otters had first returned to the Segura to the west of Murcia city at the beginning of this decade and have slowly been spreading towards the mouth at Guardamar del Segura. An otter was spotted near Orihuela two years ago but this is the first recorded sighting in the section which is downriver of the city.
Playa de los Locos in Torrevieja
Drugs, cash and other items seized from the suspects