‘LAUGHING GAS’ Gang Busted On Costa Del Sol, supplying discos and private parties
The National Police has dismantled an international criminal gang who were importing and then distributing nitrous oxide, better known as ‘laughing gas’, for use in private parties and discos in Spain, with four males aged between 17 and 28 years of age being arrested.
Nitrous oxide has become one of the most popular recreational drugs in clubs, discos and private parties in Europe in recent years.
The gang’s activities first came to the attention of the police when Torremolinos Local Police received calls from members of the public in Benalmádena about spotting what looked like activities going on involving “suspicious merchandise”, and so ‘Operation Bombona’ was initiated.
The investigating officers soon established that a gang was importing cylinders of the gas in large quantities, and storing them in a garage in a residential block, and on January 29, officers caught one member of the gang red-handed as he took delivery of a shipment of cylinders of nitrous oxide, and arrested him.
A subsequent search of the man’s property led to the discovery of 200 cylinders in his garage, with a capacity of around 1,600kg of nitrous oxide, with 5,000 balloons, 108 nozzles that could be used to fill the balloons with the gas, and 67g of hashish.
Further investigations led officers to a warehouse containing several pallets of cylinders ready for distribution, in Coslada in Madrid, with the goods being traced back to a seller in The Netherlands, who was importing the gas into Spain.
The second phase of the police operation led them to discover a storage facility in the centre of San Pedro de Alcántara, and also on the Guadalhorce industrial estate, leading to the recovery of 211 more cylinders, and three more men arrested as alleged members of the same criminal gang, with all four men then being charged by police of crimes against public health.
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