DRUG CRISIS: Cartel brewing on the Spanish mainland

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SCALING UP: Unions have asked for 300 more officers to gain control

THE Costa del Sol is at risk of having its very own drug cartel as the region’s narco-gangs grow bolder, according to a police union.

Last month saw a swathe of serious incidents at the hands of narcos.

A police sting seized 8.7 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a container ship arriving in Cadiz from Colombia last month. It was the largest seizure on record.

The mega drug bust meant Police grabbed more cocaine in the strait of Gibraltar by the end of April this year than in the whole of 2017. The sum of the white stuff caught this year weighed 11.8 tonnes.

And police estimate only 20 per cent of drugs which enter Spain actually get stopped.

A nine-year-old boy was killed when a boat linked to drug smuggling collided with the vessel he and his father were on last Monday.

“The surge in violence by drug traffickers is increasing. There are more and more attacks,” according Cadiz Guardia Civil union official, Juan Encinas.

A top trafficker recently escaped from police custody when fellow gang members stormed a hospital in la Linea de la Concepcion where he was being monitored.

Algeciras locals protested the worsening drug gang violence in the main square last week after officers were beaten with broken bottles as they left a restaurant.

The national government is responding, but unions claims the police reinforcements being sent are not enough.

Unions are demanding an extra 300 officers and tougher penalties for youths involved in the drugs trade.

Cadiz’s 31.25 per cent youth unemployment rate is making its young people easy pickings for gang leaders, Juan Fernandez, the Guardia Civil’s national union (AUGC) spokesperson said.

“It is seen less of a crime and more as a way of life,” Fernandez added

He thinks a cartel – formed by a merger between rival gangs and which has the power to penetrate institutions – is not far off.

But the claim was strongly rejected by Spain’s Interior minister Juan ignacio Zoido.

Protest

In another …hsopital jumped

There is a threat of the 30 gangs megring

Cadiz is the largest drugs entry point in the whole of Europe. A total of 40 per of all narcotics entering Spain pass through the ancient port.

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