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Property worth 15 million euros frozen as Europe’s biggest drugs cartel dismantled 

PAGE 19 Property worth 15m  frozen two

Spanish police have dismantled one of the biggest narcotics trafficking organisations allegedly led by the “Sito Miñanco”.

After an investigation of more than 20 months, agents have intervened almost 5,000 kilograms of narcotics and have arrested 43 people.

In addition, real estate and property worth 15 million euros have been requisition-ed.As part of the operation, 171 properties, five boats and 139 bank accounts and other financial products have been blocked.

Operation Mito began after detecting the presence in Marbella of the well-known Galician drug trafficker along with other members of his organisation.

“Sito Miñanco” began his criminal career as a smuggler in the early 80s and later as a drug dealer, being previously arrested in two major operations against drug trafficking in the years 1991 and 2001. He was one of those involved in the Operation Nécora, although managed to escape until he was arrested in another operation in 1991 so he served seven years in prison. In 1998, he was released from prison on provisional release until he was again arrested by the Central Narcotics Brigade in August 2001 for attempting to introduce 3700 kilos of cocaine onto a ship.

From August 2001 to 2011 he remained in prison. He was currently serving a sentence of 16 and ten months in the Social Integration Center of Bota-fuegos, on a semi-freedom basis, as he only went to spend the night in the centre.

“In this last stage of his criminal career he has been associated with criminal Bulgarian, Turkish and Dutch organizations,” said a police spokesman. “In addition, he possessed an extensive net-work of Spanish collaborators who made up the most powerful drug trafficking organisation in Europe.”

The investigation confirmed the continuous security measures adopted by the members of the organisation.