A mafia-linked gang of 11 people have been detained in Ibiza for alleged narcotics trafficking and were caught in possession of 235'000 ecstasy tablets and 2.6 loose kilos of the amphetamine. This find is the biggest drugs haul ever, in Spain. Senior police sources released a communiqué confirming that the eleven detainees comprise ten Italians and a Spaniard, all having links to the Mafia. They have been investigated in Italy in cases of extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering and falsification of bank accounts. Apart from the tablets that weighed a total of 47 kilos, the MDMA (an amphetamine substance commonly referred to as ecstasy), half a kilo of cocaine and 15'000 euros in cash were also seized from the traffickers. The operation, codenamed “Salamander”, began when Ibizan police officers were alerted to the presence on the island of Italian citizens who had Mafia connections. Investigators believed that the gang now in detention wanted to install themselves on the Balearic island as a point from which “to set up their operational centre in the Mediterranean”. They had bought businesses on Ibiza to provide a “cover” for their activities. Police officers who kept watch on the suspects established “their high criminal profile”. The gang took measures to avoid being followed by driving around in different vehicles and leaving their houses at night to make phone calls from public telephone boxes. Furthermore, the group made use of a country house near the highway that links the capital of Ibiza with the town of Santa Eulalia. “The house was strategically perfect for carrying out their activities” confirmed the police. The property was described as being situated in a valley and that from there it was possible to keep a clear watch on what was going on for a radius of 2 kilometres. The gang kept a constant eye on the only road of access to the property. The investigation was also able to determine that some nights, some of the suspects left the house in order to go to an orange grove where they remained for 15 minutes without any light. “Metallic noises were heard which led to the supposition that they were trying to dig something up” reported the same police sources.

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