Irish arrested after police seize seven tonnes of cannabis in €18m Marbella cannabis swoop
Irish nationals are among 11 people arrested after a huge drug seizure on Spain's Costa Del Sol.
Spanish police seized almost seven tonnes of cannabis with a street value of nearly €18m after smashing a British-led drugs gang.
Officers say the gang was led by a British national who was using his home in San Pedro de Alcantara near the resort of Marbella to store the drugs.
A total of 11 people - nine men and two women - have been held. Police say they include British nationals, Moroccans, Spanish and Irish citizens.
The number of British and Irish citizens held totals five, although police were not able to say yesterday how many held Irish passports.
Those held have been accused of using boats to smuggle cannabis into southern Spain from Morocco.
As well as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, cash, a gun, nine vehicles, 25 mobile phones and a frequency jammer were seized during the operation, which investigators say began when a suspect in a van carrying drugs rammed several police vehicles during a chase.
Footage showing the seizures - including bundles of euro and sterling notes as well as a pistol - were released by police yesterday.
A police spokesman said: "National Police officers have smashed a criminal gang operating out of Marbella and the nearby town of Estepona which was smuggling cannabis into Spain using boats so it could be sent on to other places.
"In this operation 11 people from Britain, Ireland, Morocco and Spain have been arrested on suspicion of drugs trafficking and membership of a criminal organisation."
The operation began in March when officers were tipped off about the existence of Moroccans and Spanish nationals smuggling drugs into Spain on boats.
Gardai are believed to be assisting their Spanish colleagues in the case.