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Madrid pledges additional resources for Campo war on drug traffickers

The Spanish Government will spend €7m this month to strengthen police resources in the Campo de Gibraltar region as part of a long-running campaign against drug traffickers that has already netted nearly 300 tonnes of cannabis resin and over 11 tonnes of cocaine since it commenced two years ago.

The €7m is part of wider a €48.2m pledge to boost both personnel and material resources in the Campo over the next 18 months and follows a recent spate of violent clashes between law enforcement agencies and drug gangs.

Details of the investment were announced yesterday in Algeciras by the Spanish State Secretary for Security, Rafael Pérez, and the State Secretary for Justice, Pablo Zapatero, who also revealed that September has seen roughly 100 additional Civil Guard and National Police personnel added to enforcement ranks in the area, along with the incorporation of around 20 additional off-road vehicles from other provinces.

Mr Pérez stated: “The fight against drug trafficking in the Campo de Gibraltar is a priority objective of the Ministry of the Interior and the Government of Spain and this plan is a clear example that you can get results when there is a will, planning and resources.”

“In these two years, we have managed to take the initiative against drug trafficking organisations and, as the Interior Minister said in his last visit to Algeciras two weeks ago, the message from the Government of Spain is clear: we are not going to lessen the police and judicial pressure on them.”

It was also highlighted that, by the end of the year, law enforcement personal executing the ‘Campo de Gibraltar Special Plan’ will also be granted access to a further 30 new 4x4 vehicles, 14 high-powered vehicles, as well as additional protective equipment, specialised transmissions and night vision cameras.

Launched in August 2018, the ‘Special Plan’ is a response by the Spanish Government to the ‘problematic situation’ that has arisen in the Campo de Gibraltar regarding organised crime activities.

In the years since the launch, 2,040 people related to drug trafficking and smuggling have been arrested up until August 2020, with 162 of those arrests coming between July and August 2020 following the plan’s expansion.