By Humphrey Carter

SINCE the start of the year, over ten tons of hashish has been seized in a series of major anti-drugs operations in the Balearics and yesterday, the first consignment of confiscated drugs went up in smoke at the Son Reus incinerator.

The central government delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias and Guardia Civil Chief Colonel Basilio Sanchez Rufo, were on hand to witness the destruction of four tons of hashish which was snatched by the police when they swooped on a luxury chalet in Alcudia and arrested ten people in January.

Socias used the opportunity to praise the Guardia Civil anti-drugs unit for its numerous successes in the war against drugs over the past year, in particular the past four months, and promised that the fight will continue and perhaps intensify over coming weeks in the wake of the dismantling of four international drug smuggling gangs in Majorca and on the mainland over the weekend.

Over four tons of hashish have been seized in Majorca in just the past four days. “We have dismantled two very active and important criminal organisations,” Socias said yesterday. “And we have already seized more drugs this year than we did in all of 2007,” he added.

But, Socias said that not only are the security forces succeeding in the war against the smugglers, the police are also enjoying a great deal of success further down the scale in stamping out demand, especially among teenagers, and cracking down on the dealers.