AROUND a tonne of drugs seized in the Balearics in recent years went up in smoke yesterday at the Son Reus incinerator.
Central Government Delegate, Ramon Socias, who supervised the burning alongside police authorities and representatives of the Guardia Civil, explained that it had been necessary to secure a series of court permits to destroy the drugs.
He confirmed that almost half of the illegal substances were marijuana plants and hashish, whilst a further 30 percent consisted of cocaine. The remaining 20 percent was a mixture of so-called designer drugs, ecstasy tablets, heroin and other narcotics. Socias said that the drugs had been seized during various raids which took place in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but the tonne burned at Son Reus yesterday also included a small percentage which had come into police custody this year.
Moments before the drugs were set alight, Socias said that the large quantity seized by police shows the commitment that the security forces have to ridding society of harmful narcotics. He added that their success is not simply measured in a series of spectacular hauls but also in persistent watches kept on the middle men who sell drugs in the street in small quantities, as was the case with the La Paca gypsy clan, tried and convicted in 2008.
But Socias acknowledged that drugs are still circulating in the Balearic Islands and that the National Police and Guardia Civil have to be on standby to prevent the success of large trafficking operations. Security forces have to be particularly vigilant, said Socias, during the summer months in tourist resorts. There are people, he said who come to the islands as visitors and think they can just do what they want, including drug-taking.