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Inside luxury life of Brit ‘super-cartel boss’ behind a ‘THIRD of Europe’s cocaine trade’ as map shows huge drug empire

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A BRITISH alleged drugs kingpin suspected of laundering money for a “super-cartel” said to be responsible for a third of Europe’s cocaine trade lived a double life as a married university graduate.
Spanish cops announced on Monday they had detained the British expat at his sprawling home near Marbella, one of two UK citizens seized under Operation Desert Light.
Cops arrested 49 people as part of raids against a cocaine super-cartel including a Brit6Cops arrested 49 people as part of raids against a cocaine super-cartel including a BritCredit: SolarpixThey also uncovered a haul of luxury cars and stashes of cash6They also uncovered a haul of luxury cars and stashes of cashCredit: SolarpixSuspected cartel members amassed vast riches6Suspected cartel members amassed vast richesCredit: SolarpixThe operation, spearheaded by Europol, saw the arrests of 49 suspected cartel members in five different countries, with more than 30 tonnes of cocaine seized in a mammoth haul.
Police said they had arrested a second British man in Dubai, described as a ringleader of the enormous drug operation.
The Spain-based Brit detainee, who is from the Home Counties, is reported to have moved to the Costa del Sol after leaving his job with one of the UK’s leading construction companies.
A quantity surveyor by trade, he is married and has a young daughter, and has spent the last three years working for a real estate firm in the south of Spain.
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Before his shock arrest, he had claimed he was “fulfilling his dream” of living in sunnier climes.
There is no suggestion that his real estate company is involved in any wrongdoing.
The well-educated family man was pictured wearing a grey tracksuit and surrounded by heavily-armed masked cops following his arrest in a police video, with his face pixelated.
A video released by Europol showed agents arresting suspects and seizing luxury cars and hidden stashes of cash.

He has not yet been charged with any crime as formal charges are not normally laid in Spain until shortly before trial.
His lawyers are understood to be attempting to persuade a judge to grant him bail pending an ongoing criminal probe as they say he has work and family ties in Spain and wouldn’t pose a flight risk if released.
The man’s British wife is still living at the family’s luxury villa – worth an estimated £2.5m – on a quiet cul-de-sac close to Marbella.
She insisted her husband hadn’t committed any crimes, and told a reporter: “I know my husband is totally innocent and he will prove it. This has all been such hell.”
The leader of this organisation was identified as a British man linked to the Costa del Sol who had to leave Spain and move to Dubai after he was the subject of a kidnap attemptSpokesman, Guardia Civil
Cops announced on Monday they had arrested 49 individuals in France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates in an operation described as “unprecedented” by the Spanish Guardia Civil.
Of those, six so-called High-Value Targets were arrested in Dubai, including a British man described as a super-cartel ringleader.
He is believed to have fled to the desert city from the Costa de Sol following a bungled kidnap attempt against him.
Spain is now expected to try and extradite the 32-year-old, who is also from the Home Counties, so he can face trial for cocaine trafficking.
A further 10 people were arrested in Belgium, six in France and 13 in Spain during the operation between November 8 and 19.
Another 14 were detained last year in the Netherlands as part of the same operation, according to Europol.
The operation involved 49 arrests in five different countries6The operation involved 49 arrests in five different countriesCredit: SolarpixA raid at a luxury mansion in Malaga6A raid at a luxury mansion in MalagaCredit: SolarpixCops described the scale of the raids as 'unprecedented'6Cops described the scale of the raids as ‘unprecedented’Credit: SolarpixPolice have also pieced together how the enormous cocaine-smuggling operation was run.
Following a police hack of sophisticated encrypted telephones used by organised crime networks, cops were able to start making arrests in the Netherlands.
Most of the cocaine came from South America to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, although some passed through South Africa.
Some of the suspected ringleaders amassed “enormous riches” running a Dubai-based network that trafficked cocaine into France, according to a French judicial source.
The investigation found that gang members engaged in “barbaric methods of extreme violence”, with “acts of torture and barbarism” practised by some of the armed cartel fighters.
Belgian prosecutors said they had earlier carried out raids in Antwerp this August, in which around £778k was seized.
A Guardia Civil spokesman said: “During the probe investigators were able to establish that a criminal organisation was smuggling containers with cocaine inside through the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras.
“At the same time, a complex real estate business set-up had been created on the Costa del Sol to launder the proceeds of the profits obtained from the drug smuggling.
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“The leader of this organisation was identified as a British man linked to the Costa del Sol who had to leave Spain and move to Dubai after he was the subject of a kidnap attempt.
“From Dubai, he continued to direct and coordinate the organisation’s criminal activities, while at the same time maintaining drug-trafficking contacts and business interests with the rest of the drug lords based in this emirate city.”

Story Credit: thesun.co.uk

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