By Humphrey Carter THE Balearics is becoming one of the new entry points for hashish being smuggled from Morocco into Spain and onto other European countries. José Antonio del Cerro, one of the members of the Spanish High Court's anti-drugs prosecution bench, explained in Palma yesterday that, because of the hightened security along the southern coast of Spain and in the Straits of Gibraltar as part of Spain' crackdown on illegal immigration and international terrorism controls, drug smugglers have had to find new routes into Spain. Speaking on the opening day of a conference on fighting drug addiction, the state prosecutor said that the drugs squad have noticed that more and more smugglers are using the Balearics and the east coast of Spain, especially the northern Cataluña coast line, as move their operations from the south of Spain. Apart from the criminal problems caused, del Cerro underlined the social problems drug smuggling can cause. He warned that, as they have seen in parts of Andalucia, teenagers get easily sucked into the drugs world where they can make more money “by helping unload the drugs at night that working in a workshop.” He said that concentrated drug smuggling in any one areas also leads to high level of money laundering and corruption which disrupts society in general. Looking at a more global picture, he also warned that in many cases, the main beneficiaries from large scale drug smuggling are large crime syndicates, mafias and Islamic terrorist organisations. Ironically, del cerro said that while the Balearics is by no means one of the areas where the most hashish is consumed, it is however becoming a key smuggling and distribution point. Nearly all of the hashish is brought from Morocco to Spain by boat and, while the security services have increased their attempts to control and monitor the situation, patrolling the Balearic coast and the east coast of Spain is a major task. De Cerro praised the efforts of the Balearic security forces, over the past 18 months record hauls of hashish have been made, and also said that the region's anti-drugs laws are adequate. However, co-operation between the Balearic police, in particular the drugs squad, and their counterparts up and sown the east coast of Spain is going to be intensified.