HOODED intruders broke into the customs building in Huelva and within minutes stole almost a ton of hashish.
Now police believe the perpetrators may be members of the same gang from which the drugs were originally seized. This, the Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, said happens quite frequently.
The robbery was carried out by between eight and 10 people who loaded 30 packages of the drug into two 4×4 vehicles and a trailer, both stolen.
Neighbours called the police, who report that the robbery took place to coincide with the chimes to mark the end of 2012.
By the time police arrived just minutes later at the building in Plaza Doce de Octubre in the centre of Huelva, the intruders were nowhere to be seen.
There were no guards on duty at the time and although the alarms sounded, security staff arrived at the same time as police.
Similar robberies which have previously occurred in Sevilla, Malaga and Cadiz have caused the loss of hundreds of kilos of drugs.
The Government has sped up plans to build an incineration plant in Cadiz to destroy drugs as soon as possible after they are seized. Drugs confiscated in Andalucia are currently sent to Asturias to be destroyed. The judge had not yet authorised the incineration of the drugs stolen on this occasion.
The Government Sub-Delegate in Huelva, Enrique Perez, has said that measures will be taken to increase surveillance at the facilities following a meeting with Huelva National Police Chief, Antonio Placer, and the Provincial Delegate for the Tax Agency, Juan Pedro de Gracias.