Monday 18th January 2021 | Xàbia AL DIA
The Guardia Civil in Xàbia, as part of Operation Mirlos, has arrested an Englishman on suspicion of endangering public health and for the cultivating and manufacturing of drugs as well as for electricity fraud. The raid saw the force dismantle an indoor marijuana plantation, seizing 1,152 marijuana plants as well as very sophisticated equipment for the treatment of the substances, a vehicle, and some 6.700 euros in small denominations.
A statement from the Guardia Civil explained that investigations began when the owner of a real estate agency informed the force that a tenant had not paid the rent on a villa for several months and that he had been trying to locate the tenant several times, without success. In addition, the rental contract allowed the agent to enter the property to show it to potential buyers but the tenant had changed all the locks on the house.
When the Guardia Civil went to the house to locate the tenant, the officers noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside as well as a incessant and annoying noise of machinery. Faced with these facts, they started investigations and gathered sufficient evidence to be able to enter the property and search the house with prior authorization from the courts. Inside they found an indoor marijuana plantation installed across two of the three floors of the villa.
The entire basement area was packed with large marijuana plants ready for harvesting whilst the tenant had carried out building work of such magnitude that the upper floor of the villa had been completely changed to achieve maximum use of the space and, with it, maximum possible production, reaching some 500 square metres. The windows and doors had been bricked up and the plants in this space were smaller and arranged on shelving. On the third floor, extractors and a ventilation system had been installed, connected to the entire house by a very complex network of pipes.
In total, the officers seized 1,152 marijuana plants in different stages of growth with a total weight of 68 kilograms. The estimated value that they would have attracted on the street would have been around 118,932 euros. During the search, abundant material related to indoor cultivation was also taken away, including fans, air conditioning units, air extractors, several carbon filters and some lamps, as well as a vehicle and 6.700 euros in small notes.
In addition to the narcotic substances and the installed devices, typical of this type of plantation, the officers found exclusive and sophisticated equipment for the production of the drug, consisting of a large industrial machine which could be used to pick the marijuana leaves and a vacuum packing machine used by professionals. In addition, electricity fraud of more than 30,000 euros was discovered.
Two days after the raid, one of the alleged perpetrators, a 47-year-old Englishman, went to the real estate agency to pay the rent that was outstanding on the villa. He was identified and detained by the Guardia Civil and has been placed at the disposal of Court Nº 2 in Dénia. He has been released on bail and his passport has been withdrawn as a precautionary measure.
The Guardia Civil continued with their investigations to identify and locate the person named on the rental contract but found that false documentation was used. Further investigations has discovered that this person, of British origin, was involved in another operation carried out by the Guardia Civil in San Juan de Alicante and is currently being sought for arrest for drug trafficking.
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