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Police dismantle drugs ring which introduced lethal “shabu” into Europe 

An international drugs ring based in Spain peddled highly-addictive methamphetamine or “shabu”, often hidden in coffee, to the value of nearly two million euros.

Following more than a year of investigations, during which 28 people were arrested, Spanish police raided ten houses in the Ciutat Vella area of Barcelona.

More than 150 officers were involved in the raids when 12 suspects were taken into custody and guns, cocaine, crystal and drug-making equipment discovered. Many of the weapons were hidden under beds.

Police said the total weight of methamphetamine seized was almost eight kilos which would have fetched almost two million euros on the open market across Spain and Italy.

This latest raid came just a week after the ring-leader was arrested as he tried to flee to Barcelona airport in a taxi to catch a flight out to Nigeria.

Four other houses in Barcelona were raided on the same day and another nine people caught by police.

At one stage, a dealer was stopped in Paris on his way back to Spain with five kilograms of crystal methamphetamine hidden in different packages of coffee.

Most of the sales were made on the streets, with each dose costing 250 euros. The gang was led by Nigerians but also employed Filipinos to act as a second-tier of sellers, mainly to their own community. Users mainly worked in bars, restaurants and on cruise ships which docked in Barcelona.

They are believed to have been the main culprits for introducing the dangerous drug into Europe after its prevalence across the United States.

Police said the arrests had taken “a lot of dangerous men” out of circulation.

Methamphetamine can cause severe effects, including insomnia, confusion, aggression, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, respira-tory problems, irregularity in the heartbeat, convulsions and even death.

In addition, some symptoms can persist for months or years even after quitting the habit.