By Humphrey Carter
BALEARIC police have disbanded one of Majorca's largest drugs cartels.
The four month operation dubbed “Paradise chain” was launched in early December and ended on Monday when armed National Police and the Guardia Civil mounted a series of simultaneous raids in the Son Banya shanty town on the outskirts of Palma and at addresses in the Sant Jordi and Son Gotleu neighbourhoods in the capital. Police chiefs said yesterday that seven people have been arrested so far, 600'000 euros in cash confiscated and 7.5 kilos of cocaine seized. Central government representative Ramon Socias, National Police chief Elicio Amez and Guardia Civil Commander Cristóbal Santandreu held a joint press conference yesterday to provide further details of the important operation which has led to the closure of one of the island's largest ever gangs of drug dealers and traffickers.

The final phase of the operation was mounted on Saturday night following the arrest of two key individuals - one being a local construction magnate suspected of being responsible for trafficking large amounts of cocaine and the other the leader of one of Son Gotleu and Son Banya's notorious drugs cartels known as “La Eva.” Following their arrests and questioning, the order was given for the National Police and the Guardia Civil serious crime and narcotics squads to swoop on a number of properties in Son Banya, Son Gotleu and Sant Jordi as well as a warehouse on Cami Salard. Most of the seven arrested on Monday are all members of the “La Eva” clan. Socias revealed yesterday that a significant haul of stolen jewellery was also recovered.

He added that the jewels were used to buy the drugs.
A number of luxury fast cars were also seized during the operation.
The police added that key equipment used for the preparation and distribution of cocaine was also found along with a stash of mobile telephones and various safe boxes. Guardia Civil commander Cristóbal Santandreu revealed that the gang was smuggling 20 kilos of cocaine in to the island at a time with a third destined for Son Banya. A 52-year-old man identified as Juan María O.C., alias “Juan el payo,” is being held responsible for smuggling the drugs into Majorca. Socias said yesterday that the operation is not only a significant victory in the war against drugs and serious crime, but also a clear demonstration of just how closely together the National Police and Guardia Civil are working.

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