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Cops smash UK hash gang in Spain

Spanish and British police have nabbed a hashish-smuggling ring that hid hundreds of kilos of drugs in electrical transformers before shipping them off to the UK.

Cops smash UK hash gang in Spain
During the final police raid on a property in Elche, gang members attempted to flee in a vehicle in which officers discovered 322 kilos of hashish. Photo: HO/SPANISH POLICE/AFP

Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Spain's national police have arrested nine people and seized 322 kilos of hashish from an international organization that smuggled drugs inside industrial electrical transformers.

The joint investigation found that the drugs were purchased in Spain then transported and distributed in the United Kingdom, reported news agency EFE on Saturday.

Seven gang members were arrested in Elche, Alicante (cities near Valencia), and two in Britain.

A shotgun, a replica pistol and wrapping machines were discovered during raids on three premises.

The operation was instigated in January when police noted the presence in Spain of members of a British gang dedicated to buying drugs.

The purchases were later disguised and hidden inside electrical transformers to be transported to Britain.

Investigators swooped after uncovering an imminent plan to ship an indeterminate quantity of drugs.

During the final police raid on a property in Elche, gang members attempted to flee in a vehicle in which officers discovered 322 kilos of hashish.

The operation uncovered the existence of a number of other offences including illegal possession of firearms and the assault of a police officer.

Spanish authorities have placed six of the seven men arrested into custody.

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POLICE

Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.

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