THE Central Government Delegate Ramon Socias has underlined the success of the two new mobile radars which have been installed along the coast of Majorca to trackdown drug traffickers and illegal immigrants.
Socias said that the police had been able to track down the fast launches carrying tons of hashish to the island from Northern Africa thanks to these radars.
We are obviously very pleased with the success the system is having, Socias said.
The radars, which have an unspecified range although it is believed to be quite extensive, were first introduced to track down illegal immigrants. So far this year numerous small launches from North Africa, packed with illegal immigrants, have made their way to the coast of Majorca. In most cases the police were lying in wait and were able to detain most of the people. involved. At one time it was feared that the island was rapidly becoming an entry point for illegal immigrants from North Africa. The police even stepped up patrols along the coastline as a direct result. However, since the introduction of the radar there have been no further reported landings.
The new long distance eyes of the police have another important role;the detection of drug traffickers. The police have become aware over recent months that large quantities of hashish were being smuggled into the island by fast launches from North Africa.
Last weekend the radar proved exceptionally effective when it tracked a fast launch bound for Andratx laden with hashish. The police swooped and they were able to seize many tons of hashish. Further seizures were made in Porto Petro and Portocolom.
Socias said yesterday that the radars were giving the police a new dimension in their fight against crime. No-one can doubt their effectiveness, he said. Socias was speaking at the launch of a new crack unit designed to fight organised crime on the island. Police chiefs say that the nature of crime is changing and a direct result they need more resources such as this crack unit and the mobile radars.
Also, the fight against crime is becoming far more high-tech and the police need more sophisticated equipment to cope with the task.
The National Police based in Palma are the main force behind this crackdown on more organised crime supported by the Guardia Civil who are based in more rural areas. Socias said that he hoped that with the new resources the police would be better able to win the war on crime.
But it is not only the National Police, who have been re-organised;the local police have created a special new unit to help fight the rise in Latin gangs which Palma has seen over recent years. These gangs mostly operate in Palma and last summer there were a whole series of incidents involving fights with rival factions.