Palma.—The National Police yesterday provided further information about their success in dismantling a highly organised gang of pick pockets which spent the summers preying on tourists in Palma and Majorca's main resorts and the winters in the Canary Islands.

As the Bulletin reported yesterday, 17 people, 13 women and four men, were arrested on Wednesday as a result of an operation to crackdown on the infamous “carnation seller” pick pockets.

Ten properties were simultaneously raided as part of the operation and two rifles, three pistols, a large amount of ammunition and six large knives, a set of knuckle dusters, 5'500 euros in cash and a collection of cash on various foreign currencies were seized
14 marijuana plants were also confiscated along with three expensive paintings, a collection of golf and jewelry and a cache of video and digital cameras and mobile telephones.

In an official statement, the Nation al Police explained that Operation Clavel was first launched at the beginning of November last year when the tourist season ended herein Majorca and began in the Canaries when 20 people were arrested and 13 properties raided as part of phase one of the operation on charges of organised crime, robbery and trafficking drugs.

Phase one resulted with most of the detainees being jailed and issued with restraining orders banning them from the areas in which they used to operate.

Police sources said that they were highly organised and police raided properties in Palma, Alcudia, Pollensa, Inca, Manacor, Capdepera, Soller, Sineu and the Playa de Muro.

The National Police in Palma not only worked in cooperation with their counterparts in the Canary Islands but also the local police forces in the various areas of investigation and under cover investigating officers had to carry out the investigation with extreme precaution to protect their identity.

The police action was praised by the commercial sector in the large resorts because the pick pockets have been causing problems and hampering business for years.

The National Police stated yesterday that they will be tightening security in the centre of Palma this summer as part of the ongoing war against pick pockets.