DrugsNewsOrganised Crime

Arrested the Rifeño clan, one of the most violent groups in the province of Almería dedicated to hashish trafficking

The Spanish Civil Guard has arrested the Rifeño clan, a violent organization dedicated to drug trafficking along the coast of Almeria. 31 people have been arrested, among which is the Rifeño, leader of the group, and of which 19 have entered pretrial detention. They have seized 3,055 kilos of hashish, 60,000 euros in cash, 30 vehicles -10 of them high-end- and three narco-vessels, among other effects.

This hashish-trafficking clan acted with extreme violence, using firearms, Molotov cocktails and spiked chains to neutralize police vehicles. A submachine gun, six pistols, bulletproof vests, military tactical material or the Molotov cocktails themselves and spiked chains are some of the elements intervened by the Civil Guard in this operation named Palma.

The first drug cache of this group was detected in July 2020. The Civil Guard detected a series of hashish unloadings on the Almería coast, specifically on El Palmer beach, in the municipality of Enix, by means of high-speed boats . These began this almost three-year-long investigation where up to seven stashes were made.

The leader of this organization, nicknamed the Rifeño, has a long history of drug trafficking. Members of the upper echelon resided in high-end developments in Roquetas de Mar that allowed them to go unnoticed.

In the different operations against this criminal group, firearms and numerous vehicles used to transport drugs have been seized. In the first phase of the operation, six searches were carried out in homes with the arrest of eight people, in which 60,000 euros in cash, boats, vehicles, bulletproof vests and taser pistols were seized.

A total of eight workshops and industrial buildings were also inspected in the towns of Huércal de Almería, Vícar and Almería capital. Simultaneously, two more members of the organization who were on the run in Melilla and Barcelona were arrested. In addition, one of the detainees had explosives that he was trying to sell on the illicit market to other criminal organizations.

Finally, the operation ended with 31 people arrested, with 19 in provisional detention and three in judicial order. The total balance of seized material is 3,055 kilos of hashish, 30 vehicles -10 of them high-end-, a submachine gun, six pistols, bulletproof vests, military tactical material, extensible spike systems to neutralize vehicles, Molotov cocktails, eleven cartridges of ammonite explosive and three narco-vessels, among others.

This operation has been carried out by the Organized Crime and Anti-drug Team of the Civil Guard in Almería. The actions fall on the Investigating Courts 2 and 3 of Almería promoted by the Almería Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office.