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Spanish cop killed in car chase during drug trafficking bust in southern Spain

A policeman was killed on Thursday as he chased a car with a French number plate carrying hashish in a drug trafficking hotspot in southern Spain, police said.

Spanish cop killed in car chase during drug trafficking bust in southern Spain
Stock photo: Guardia Civil

This is the latest incident in a region where police are implementing a crackdown on drug trafficking after Spain's previous interior minister vowed the area would “not be dominated by narcos.”

Fermin Cabezas Gonzalez, who was married and father of a 10-year-old, was killed in Los Barrios in the province of Cadiz, the entry point for 40 percent of all drugs smuggled into Spain.

A spokesman for the Civil Guard police force to which he belonged told AFP two French citizens of Moroccan origin had subsequently been detained “as part of an operation against drug trafficking.”

He would not comment on the circumstances of Cabezas's death but Spanish media reported he had been chasing the car on a motorbike when he hit a truck.   

The spokesman said there was hashish in the car he had been chasing, but could not say how much as a probe is underway.   

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Andalusia, a sprawling region in southern Spain where Cadiz is located, with high unemployment and close to Morocco, a key source of hashish, has been the scene of brazen drug trafficking activity over the years.

Traffickers have landed shipments of drugs on beaches in broad daylight and have physically attacked police officers.

In February last year, some 20 people stormed a hospital in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion to free a suspected drug trafficker who had been injured in a motorbike crash as he tried to escape arrest.

The AUGC Civil Guard police union also warned that “legions of youth” in the poor area were flocking to work for narco gangs that were able to pay salaries “that not even a multinational could pay its executives.”

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DRUGS

Spanish police make ‘biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs’

Spanish police said Friday they had seized a record 827,000 ecstasy tablets as well as other narcotics in what they called "the biggest ever seizure of synthetic drugs" in Spain.

Spanish police make 'biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs'
Police claim the seizure is the biggest in Spanish history. Photo: Guardia Civil and the National Police
In a joint operation, the Guardia Civil and the National Police smashed “the main international criminal organisation behind the production and supply of most of the synthetic drugs in Spain”, they said in a joint statement.
   
Synthetic drugs are manufactured using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients.
   
Eleven people were arrested on charges of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation, including the organisation's Dutch boss.
 
   
As well as the ecstasy tabs, police also seized 76 kilos (167 pounds) of speed, 39.5 kilos of crystal meth and 217 litres of liquid amphetamine with which they could have produced 738.5 kilos of speed.
   
They also impounded almost 400 kilos of hashish and marijuana which they were to have exported to The Netherlands to pay for the purchase of the necessary substances to manufacture the drugs at two labs in Barcelona.
   
The organisation included traffickers from Spain, The Netherlands, Romania, Colombia and Italy and had bases in Barcelona, the southern city of Malaga and the island of Ibiza, all of which are known for having a vibrant nightlife and many dance clubs.
   
Although Spain is considered one of the main drug gateways to Europe, seizures of synthetic narcotics are uncommon as most traffickers usually deal in cannabis and cocaine.
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