Police bust gang trying to smuggle 7 tonnes of hashish into Spain

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MADRID (Reuters) - A gang trying to smuggle seven tonnes of hashish into Spain was intercepted in one of the country's largest drugs busts this year, Spanish police said on Sunday.

Three members of the gang were detained after two police patrols in mid-April stopped a converted tug boat at sea off southern Spain which was laden with 200 packets of hashish.

Spanish, Dutch and French police had been investigating the drugs gang since March 2020 as it had previously smuggled large quantities of hashish into various countries, Spanish police said, without specifying which countries.

"This is one of the biggest operations against drugs (gangs) this year, with more than seven tonnes of hashish seized, which reduces the activity of criminal organizations based in the Straits of Gibraltar," the Civil Guard said in a statement.

In Spain the gang operates out of the southern city of Huelva, police said but did not give the nationalities of those arrested.

Police released video footage on Sunday of the boat that was carrying the drugs after it was seized last month.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley and Elena Rodriguez; Editing by Susan Fenton)