Spain, Italy seize hashish worth $2 million, arrest 19 alleged drug smugglers

August 24, 2016 2:50 PM EDT

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(Reuters) - Spanish and Italian police seized 3,300 kilograms of hashish worth $1.98 million from a boat off the Italian coast and arrested 19 Polish members of an international drug smuggling ring, Spanish authorities said on Wednesday.

The operation, carried out jointly by police from Spain, Poland, Italy and Britain, targeted a organization that was based in the Spanish province of Granada that trafficked drugs between Morocco and mainland Europe, a statement said.

The 19 men were from one of four major crime groups in Poland, which police said had been involved in assassinations, theft and extortion. The group's leader was among those arrested, the statement said.

The Europol-coordinated operation followed a series of anti-drug raids earlier in August in southern Spain that resulted in 23 arrests and over 1,000 kilograms of hashish seized. Among those arrested were another 12 Poles, seven Spaniards and two Ukrainians.

(Reporting by Catherine Bennett; editing by Angus Berwick/Mark Heinrich)



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