One of the accused being taken into court on Sunday. | Pere Bota


Following the arrests made last Friday as part of the major "Iron Belt" operation against drugs gangs, the leaders of those gangs have been ordered to be detained in prison. José Castro, Sunday's duty judge at the Palma courts, made the order amid what was heavy security outside the Via Alemania courts. Guardia Civil officers were careful to get the accused into the court building as quickly as possible and without incidents.

The first Guardia vehicles transporting eight of the accused to the court began arriving at around 4pm. Security personnel opened the main gate in order to let vans gain direct access. A total of 28 people belonging to the Eva and Benabad clans were brought before Judge Castro.

With Guardia officers swamping the area outside the court, a number of family members and friends were there to see the accused arrive. There were no incidents. The matriarch of the Eva clan, La Eva herself, received the most cheers as she arrived. Not covering her face and looking straight towards media lenses, she announced: "I am La Eva, the most beautiful."

After what proved to be a marathon session, the judge didn't entertain bail for twelve of the accused and ordered that they be detained. One other was given bail of 25,000 euros, five more were bailed for 3,000 euros each, while the others were given provisional liberty. More than forty people were arrested in Majorca during the operation. The remainder were due before the court today.

Two accused who did appear today were Guardia Civil officers, charged with the trafficking of drugs. They have been given bail on payment of 3,500 and 7,000 euros respectively.