Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE ongoing battle against drug use on the Islands has been reviewed over the past year by the central government delegate in the Balearics, Ramon Socias.

At a press conference, accompanied by chiefs of the Guardia Civil, the National Police Force and the Customs Service, he congratulated the law enforcement agencies for their action last weekend, during which more than 7'000 kilos of hashish were seized.

Socias further added that this operation had dealt a big blow to drug trafficking gangs and said that he will continue to work towards stopping the Balearics becoming an entry point for crime syndicates planning to bring drugs into Europe.

REVIEW
With regard to 2006, Socias said that it had been an historic year in terms of the quantity of drugs seized in the Balearics by the State Security Forces and the Customs Service.

The amount of cocaine and hashish appropriated in 2006 grew spectacularly in comparison with the amount seized in 2005.
During last year, more than 3.3 tonnes of cocaine were seized whereas in 2005 just 53 kilos were confiscated. This amounts to a massive increase of 6.221 percent.

With regard to hashish, in 2006 more than 28'000 kilos were seized compared with just 685 kilos in 2005, also demonstrating a spectacular increase of 4.102 percent.

On the other hand there was a decrease of 79 percent in the amount of marijuana seized and 58 percent in the amount of ecstasy tablets confiscated.
Whilst in 2005, 2'805 kilos of marijuana and 56'751 ecstasy tablets were seized, in 2006 just 590 kilos of marijuana and 24'119 ecstasy tablets were confiscated.

The amount of people arrested for drug trafficking also increased in 2006 in comparison with 2005, rising from 557 to 649, some 16.5 percent more.
On Monday, a new Local Police unit was unveiled in Palma and its principal duty is to patrol the most conflictive neighbourhoods, many of which are frequented by drug dealers and users. Such areas are also home to many of the city's increasing number of gangs which have recently been at the centre of a number of serious incidents.

167 people reported for the sale and consumption of drugs in schools

THE Spanish Government's Delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, has said that he considers that the plan to fight drug trafficking in Balearic education centres had proved very positive.

In addition to the operation, which was put in place last year by the Security Forces, he praised the similar plan aimed at controlling the sale and consumption of drugs in all leisure areas, such as night clubs.

Efforts to crack down on drug trafficking in and around schools in 2006, said Socias, had resulted in 167 people being reported and given warnings, 160 successful impounding of drug hauls and two arrests. The measures taken against the selling and distribution of drugs in leisure zones in 2006, produced a total of 84 arrests, 2'915 seizures of different substances and 2'116 people being reported and given a warning.

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