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Police find drugs baron living in luxury 

One of the biggest drug gangs operating on the holiday island of Mallorca has been smashed by police in a series of morning swoops.

More than 300 officers, many armed with battering rams, were involved in the operation which took many holiday-makers by surprise as nearly 50 houses were raided. Most of them had been boarded up or locked with chains and padlocks to deter entry.

The police wore full riot gear and were backed up by helicopters and dogs as road blocks were set up for the operation which lasted all day.

It was one of the biggest drugs operations ever carried out in the Balearic Islands and led to the arrest of 23 people, including the leader of the gang “El Pablo” who had managed to buy more than 50 farms and apartments across Spain.

Although he lived in one of the poorest areas of Mallorca, an elevator up to his house concealed the fact his home had a “swanky” interior, with swimming pools, a jaccuzi and luxurious furnishings.

Police said he was an “old acquaintance” and in the 1990s, had been sent to prison for 15 years for drug trafficking.

He had managed to control his empire whilst only rarely leaving his guarded home which had two false walls behind the front door.

Aged 54, he is described as one of the biggest drug barons of Mallorca. Just after his arrest, he was taken ill and had to be treated in hospital.

One hundred bags of cocaine were seized, plus 20 kilos of marijuana ready for distribution, together with 1,000 plants.

Police also found drug-cutting equipment, 30,000 euros in cash, jewellery, computers and five luxury cars.

Agents said the drug traffickers would patrol the streets which they had covered with security micro-cameras in case of a raid and also acted as bouncers for their boss.

Further arrests have not been ruled out.