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Police arrest the “narco king” of Campo de Gibraltar

Spanish authorities believe his Castaña cartel has amassed a fortune in excess of €30 million

Police arrest Antonio Tejón Carrasco.

Infamous drug trafficker Antonio Tejón Carrasco was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning in Línea de la Concepción, in Campo de Gibraltar. Considered one of the area’s “narco kings,” the Castaña cartel member fled arrest in 2016 and had been on the run ever since. “He has had to flee more than once,” said police investigators of the operation. “We were waiting for him to make a mistake.”

Police have stepped up security in response to the surge of narco crime

The operation, code-named Ronald, was led by the Organized Crime Special Response Group (GRECO), in coordination with the local La Línea police force.

Police investigators say the Castana cartel has made more than €30 million from drug trafficking in recent years.

Carrasco, the youngest of the Castaña brothers, was still living in La Línea, despite the increasing media attention on the area’s drug-trafficking problem. He was hidden in one of his fortified mansions – large luxury homes located behind tall walls reinforced with barbed wire that have sprung up since the drug business began to be the main driver of the local economy.

The Castañas are well known in La Línea, an area that has seen an enormous surge in drug crime. Given that it suffers some of the highest unemployment levels in Spain, many locals have turned to drug trafficking as a means of survival, with an estimated 3,000 people believed to be working for narcotics gangs. Young people have also been lured into the trade by the promise of easy money – a problem that is putting an entire generation at risk.

More than once he had had to flee, we were waiting for him to make a mistake

Police investigators

In February, a masked drug gang stormed a hospital in La Línea to rescue an alleged drug trafficker who was under arrest, and more recently, a young boy was killed after he was accidentally run over by a “narco boat” in Algeciras.

The arrest of Carrasco is being hailed as the “final blow” of recent police efforts to tackle the illegal drug trade in Campo de Gibraltar, located in the southern Spanish province of Cádiz, in the Andalusia region. Police have stepped up security in the area, making multiple seizures of drugs, gasoline and drug-running boats. It is hoped these latest measures will put an end to a trade that has been flourishing with complete impunity.

English version by Andres Cayuela.

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