By Humphrey Carter
THE head of Palma's National Police Armed Robbery squad, Jose Gomez who was arrested late on Thursday night, remained in police custody yesterday as the investigation into his alleged relationship with a Son Banya drug cartel continued. Gomez and his partner, a Palma lawyer, were arrested as part of an on-going investigation which was mounted some six-months ago by the National Police in Palma and members of the Internal Affairs department in Madrid. Gomez, the former head of the Murder Squad and considered to be one of Palma's top officers with over 20 years of service in the force, is accused of bribery, money laundering and, allegedly in exchange for money and information from one of the main drug cartels on the Son Banya shanty town, failing to pursue certain criminals. His partner faces the same charges and the College of Lawyers yesterday announced that a full inquiry is to be opened immediately.
She could also be suspended and faces being struck-off.
Sources close to the case revealed yesterday that the accused are alleged to have been paid, or bribed, 400'000 euros by the drugs gang so that one of the lawyer's clients did not testify against them. There were claims yesterday that millions of euros could have changed hands.
Gomez has spent years investigating the Son Banya gangs and the drugs trade and has been in charge of a number of the recent and regular raids on the shanty town on the outskirts of the city. Both the police force and the College of Lawyers are taking the matter extremely seriously.
Her office was searched by police on Thursday as was their home where police had been tapping the telephone lines and listening to their conversations as part of the investigation. It appears that the investigation was launched after Internal Affairs detected the couple behaving suspiciously for example, buying extremely expensive furniture normally way out of their price range. As a result, Gomez and Lopez were placed under surveillance as part of a very delicate operation which had to be kept secret from, the rest of the force. One of the reasons for the investigation taking six months and having yet to be closed is that investigators had to extremely careful not to raise the alarm and alert those being investigated. The couple are expected to appear before preliminary hearing in Palma over within the next three days along with a Paraguayan suspect who was also arrested as part of the operation in connection with multi-million euro robbery carried out in Son Banya a gfew months ago. The arrests have shocked the police forces and the judiciary and sources close to the investigation said that further arrests can not be ruled out.


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