Guardia Civil and Calvia police officers sealed off part of Punta Ballena for a time. | Michel's

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At 2am yesterday morning, revellers along Punta Ballena in Magalluf received a surprise. Over 30 members of a special Guardia Civil serious crime unit from the mainland swooped on a handful of bars on the strip as part of a major drugs operation. Calvia police also took part and sniffer dogs were used.

The Guardia Civil in Palmanova have led an investigation into a number of bars and strips clubs which were searched. The operation lasted some two-and-a-half hours and there were moments of tension when the local police had to close off some 500 metres of the street so that the Guardia Civil could conduct searches without any interruption. It was mounted in response to a series of complaints from other businesses along the strip about suspicious goings-on in the bars targeted by the Guardia Civil.

Six Rumanian and Senegalese suspects were arrested. All were said to have been involved in peddling drugs and pickpocketing drunken holidaymakers in and around the strip. False ceilings in bars were searched, and substantial amounts of cocaine, marijuana and crystal were found. Large quantities of cash were seized as well as a number of stolen wallets. A group of Rumanian pickpockets is said to be highly active in the resort and they are all part of a large criminal organisation dealing in drugs as well.

Yesterday afternoon, police chiefs praised the success of the operation and the high level of cooperation between the Guardia Civil and Calvia police.

This summer season, the town hall and security services in Calvia have been coming down hard on illegal activities in the resorts. Last month six bars were closed, while others are facing large fines for failing to comply with the bylaws. There were also eleven arrests, Britons among them, in another drugs operation.