The 23 packets of heroin.

A 55-year-old Portuguese man, claiming to be a clown with a touring circus has been arrested in the Balearics' biggest heroin bust, by the Guardia Civil after they found eight kilos of heroin stashed in the suspect's mobile home. According to the drugs squad, the 55-year-old, with his van covered in posters for a circus, has been using his camper van to smuggle large amounts of heroin. The drugs squad had been watching the suspect since February when police noted that there had been a sudden increase in the amount of heroin on the streets in the Balearics. The Guardia Civil stepped up their surveillance operations and started to suspect that the 55-year-old was using his circus van to make regular trips back and forth to the mainland to collect more drugs. Police launched the final phase of their operation on Friday when the 55-year-old returned from Barcelona by boat in the early hours of the morning. They kept the suspect under close surveillance all weekend in a bid to identify any other individuals involved with the drugs trafficking. Police made their move in the early hours of yesterday morning, having gathered information that the suspect was planning on leaving the Balearics, swooping on the camper van parked up in a street in Arenal. Inside the camper van, police found 23 packets of heroin weighing a total 8.165 kilos and with an estimated street value of at least one million euros (166 million pesetas.). The operation has been hailed as a great success and an important victory in the war on drugs in the Balearics. Only last week two kilos of cocaine bound for the streets of Palma from Peru were seized by airport customs officials carrying out random searches. The Guardia Civil pay particular attention to passengers arriving on flights from South America. The flights are known as “hot flights” by the police because they are popular routes for drug smugglers. The Guardia Civil claim that they are now closing in on the 55-year-old's associates in Majorca while police on the mainland are also involved in tracking down the supplier.


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