NINETEEN of the 21 members of the “La Paca” clan arrested during last week's Guardia Civil anti-drugs operation have been remanded in custody without bail. Two members of the clan have been granted bail.

All 21 are accused of alleged drug trafficking. The judge wrapped up the preliminary hearing at 4.30am yesterday, while relatives of the accused maintained a large presence outside the courts on the Via Alemania in Palma. The two that were granted bail were “El Tarta”, the partner of “La Paca”, who is the head of the clan, and an immigrant who was sleeping in one of the Son Banya shacks at the time of the police raid.

Those who are alleged to be the ringleaders of the drugs gang, including “La Paca” (Francisca Cortes Picazo), her brothers, Isidoro and Juan Cortes Picazo - alias “El Moreno” and “El Loco” - and her children, Francisco and Manuela Fernandez Cortes, also known as “El Ico” and “La Guapi”, have all been sent to jail.

The 21 suspects were transferred to the courthouse on the Via Alemania on Friday evening. At 6pm, the charges began to be read out in front of Judge Jose Castro. At 4.30am, all had been before the court and the judge ruled that 19 of the suspects should be sent to jail. An hour later they were transferred to the prison in Palma.

There was a strong security presence at the courthouse during the proceedings. However, there were no serious incidents.


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