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Jet ski drug smugglers busted in Spain

May 2, 2013

MADRID (AP) — A gang that allegedly used jet skis and boats to smuggle drugs into Spain through the country’s southern coast has been busted, with police making 30 arrests, authorities said Thursday.

The smugglers used fishing and recreational boats to carry drugs from Morocco in North Africa to rendezvous points in the Mediterranean Sea. Once there, hashish was transferred to couriers on jet skis, the Interior Ministry said.

The organization, led by an Italian resident in Spain, laundered its profits using a catering business in the Sierra Nevada region of Andalusia and operated a distribution network along the popular and luxurious Costa del Sol seaside resort, the ministry said.

Police raided and searched seven houses in the southern provinces of Malaga, Algeciras and Cadiz and seized goods including 488 kilograms (1,075 pounds.) of hashish, 11 vehicles, three ships and two firearms worth an estimated 3.3 million euros ($4.3 million).

Authorities believe the entire gang had been nabbed. The suspects include Spanish, Moroccan and Italian citizens and they are awaiting trial.

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