STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
FOLLOWING a drugs raid in the Andratx area last weekend, Balearic authorities announced yesterday that so far this year, they have seized between 24 and 25 tons of hashish in armed raids.

Of this figure, 7.5 tons were impounded in two joint operations by the customs authorities and the Guardia Civil during the early hours of last Friday morning and on Saturday in Portocolom (on Majorca's east cost) and Sant Elm (Andratx).

The central government delegate in the Balearics, Ramón Socias appeared at a press conference yesterday to provide more details of the raids aimed at cracking down on drug trafficking in the region. The operations have resulted so far in the arrest of six people, five of them from Morocco and the sixth from Cuba.

It is still an open question as to whether there will be further detentions.
The first raid, in which there were no arrests, took place on Friday when a customs authority patrol boat came across a power boat - already emptied - surging away from the coastline at high speed. The patrol investigated the spot which the boat had just left and discovered 97 bundles containing 3'000 kilos of hashish close to a car which, it was assumed, a narcotics gang were to use to distribute the booty inland.

Another major discovery was to be made in the early hours of the following morning (Saturday) when Guardia Civil in the coastal district of Sant Elm (Andratx) spotted a powerboat approaching the coast. The vessel was followed until it moored up.

Three people were arrested after the discovery of 150 bundles, each containing 30 kilogrammes of hashis, totalling some 4.5 tons. Hours after the raid, three more people were detained.

Socias took the opportunity to thank the customs authorities and the Guardia Civil for their vigilance and efficient action “not just on this occasion and for another successful raid at the beginning of October, but in their ongoing fight against the infiltration of narcotics rings in the Balearics.” Socias repeated his determination that the region should not become a profitable route for traffickers and said that central government would put all necessary support at the disposal of the police and armed forces to take appropriate action.

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