MORE than 300 Guardia Civil and National Police officers took part in a major operation against drug trafficking.
The gang of 23 people occupied properties illegally in order to grow marihuana, then offered them, rent-free, to family and friends so they would look after the plantations.
As part of an operation codenamed Gentleman, carried out mainly in Rincon de la Victoria, the detainees, aged between 21 and 67, were charged with illegally occupying properties, belonging to a criminal organization, crimes against public health, money laundering, illegal weapons possession, illegally connecting to the electric supply, and other crimes.
The operation began in June, after it was discovered that an increasing number of properties in Rincon de la Victoria were being occupied illegally. This led to a man who had been arrested before for drug trafficking. He and his brother were in charge of a network which, using avant-garde technology, controlled the plantations and facilities, choosing the seeds and plants, as well as collecting, selling and distributing the marihuana. They would solve problems with neighbours or suppliers by threatening them.
Their father, arranged meetings with suppliers, maintained the facilities and provided electricity and water as well as surveillance.
Another man was in charge of assigning the properties to friends and family, while a woman worked as an accountant and guarded the money.
Local youths were employed to take care of the plantations, carry out surveillance and to harvest and transport the drugs.
Guardia Civil and National Police officers seized 2,100 marihuana plants, 461 grammes of hashish, 317 heads of marihuana, €42,000 in cash, a gun, a machete, six high-end vehicles, six computers, 33 mobile phones, a bullet-proof vest, walkie-talkies, a frequency inhibitor, documents and equipment for growing marihuana.
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