POLICE IMPERSONATORS ARRESTED

The National Police arrested five men last week on charges of impersonating police officers in order to steal drugs from cocaine smugglers during simulated raids. The men, who used police badges and uniforms, were caught as they were about to seize 265kg of cocaine from a group of traffickers. Four Colombian dealers were also detained in the Madrid warehouse raid. The impostors allegedly used a hi-tech surveillance van and night-vision goggles to monitor their targets. A National Police spokesman said the group, which was led by an Italian man living in Spain, included Spanish, Bulgarian and Colombian nationals. Having identified real traffickers, the group would monitor them closely to locate their drugs hide-out before staging a fake police raid to seize the goods. The spokesman said: “At the moment of acting they would use chest protection and shields with the inscription “Police”, as well as shackles and other police equipment to pass as agents.” The raid came after a three-month investigation and also netted €14,000 in cash, weapons and silencers, four cars and a motorcycle. Spain is the main entry point into Europe for cocaine smuggled from South America. More cocaine is consumed in Spain than in any other European country, according to a report published last year by the European Union’ drug agency, the EMCDDA.

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