Wednesday, October 27

Internal Affairs: “There is a serious problem of police corruption in southern Spain”

The Internal Affairs Service of the Civil Guard, the agents who investigate crimes committed by other policemen, have reached a conclusion that delves into the reality of drug trafficking: “There is a serious problem of police corruption in the southern part of Spain.” This statement appears in a recent report, to which elDiario.es has had access, on the investigation and arrest in June of two members of the armed institute in Cádiz for actively collaborating with a powerful Moroccan drug trafficking organization, the Al Moudi brothers.

The police report, drawn up jointly by Internal Affairs of the Civil Guard and the Narcotics Brigade of the Police, is part of an open investigation in the Central Court of Instruction number 6 of the National Court. The content of the report was used by the judge to send the two agents to provisional prison for, among other crimes, that of belonging to a criminal organization. Both reportedly charged significant sums of money for helping to introduce hashish into containers through the port of Algeciras [en esta información puedes leer los detalles de la operación].

“The serious problem that exists in the Bay of Cádiz regarding drug trafficking entails the appearance of a whole series of problems inevitably linked to this social scourge [el narcotráfico]: corruption, assassinations, extortion, institutional weakness, insecurity, public health problems, etc … “, write the civil guards and police.” One of the institutions that large organizations dedicated to drug trafficking seek to corrupt is, without a doubt, the Forces and Corps of State Security “, continue the investigators.

The Internal Affairs Service of the Civil Guard has had to be fully employed in recent years in the province of Cádiz, coinciding with the peak of drug trafficking in the Campo de Gibraltar region. The ability to corrupt members of the Security Forces is a symbol of the power of the organizations that, aware of this, “boast to other organizations of ‘working with the Law'”, the researchers describe in the aforementioned report.

The Ministry of the Interior does not provide the media with figures of members of the Security Forces detained for more than a decade. Last July, the Government responded to the MP from EH Bildu Jon Iñarritu, who had been interested in writing about the number of civil guards arrested in the last decade. The figure in which the Executive offered is 131 members of the armed institute who were arrested throughout Spain in the last ten years, at an average of a dozen per year. Miguel Ángel Ramos, spokesman for the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) in the province of Cádiz, does not have the accounts. “Only since 2018 there have been 34 arrests in Cádiz,” he tells elDiario.es. In that Andalusian province there are around 2,500 civil guards serving, distributed between the Cadiz and Algeciras commanderies.

The local AUGC spokesperson explains that, despite its seriousness, the situation has changed in recent months. He attributes it to the number and complexity of investigations against drug trafficking that have been carried out by the Security Forces themselves, as a result of the special plan of the Ministry of the Interior for the area, where the ‘narco’ had begun to display its power with unusual intensity. . With the operations, the criminal organizations dispersed their activity in time and space and, with this, the involvement of agents in these criminal networks decreased.

Francisco Mena has been in social activism for decades and is the spokesperson for the platform ‘For your safety, for everyone’s’, which works in Campo de Gibraltar. “That there are members of the Security Forces who allow themselves to be corrupted is an obvious fact. The ‘narco’ tempts all layers of society. It has been settled here for more than 30 years, although it was not until 2017 that the scandal broke. ¿ Is corruption widespread in the Police and Civil Guard? No, it is not, “says Mena.

However, both the activist and the civil guard agree on the seriousness of the behavior that Internal Affairs has tackled in recent years. The most serious, the one that led to the arrest of the captain of the Civil Guard Joaquín Franco, at the head of the Judicial Police of the Algeciras command, carried out in July 2019 for allegedly passing information to the drug traffickers in exchange for money.

When the corrupt is an investigator

In the police report last June, Internal Affairs states: “Having corrupted officials in Investigation Groups allows organizations to know when they are being investigated and the entity of the investigation, since these officials, by their job that they perform, have access to databases that can provide this type of information and a medium / high level of consultation to them “. In the case of Captain Franco, that level of knowledge was extremely high. “He was god, he did not have to deal with superiors. He did it directly with the judges, with the anti-drug prosecutors,” says the representative of the AUGC.

Another example of drug investigators who go to the other side in southern Spain is in what happened last September in Mérida when the five members of the Narcotics group of the National Police in Mérida were arrested for working for a drug organization. marijuana trafficking.

elDiario.es has required the position of the Ministry of the Interior on the problem of police corruption. A spokesman has assured that his department “has not identified a serious corruption problem in southern Spain.” “It is obvious – he adds – that organized crime networks actively seek to corrupt agents as their own method for carrying out their activities.” And he warns: “The internal affairs units are constantly monitoring to discover any penetration in the different police units deployed there”, alluding to the Campo de Gibraltar and other ‘hot’ areas.

These Internal Affairs units also highlight the difficulties in identifying and arresting the ‘black sheep’, as they do in the report on the Al Moudi organization. On the one hand, there are the destinations of the corrupted agents, “because one of their main tasks is the fight against drug trafficking within the framework of the fiscal protection”, that is, border control. They add to that, “the time they have been developing their professional work” and, finally, “detailed knowledge about their territorial demarcation and the operation of the port of Algeciras”. “All this makes them depositories of a very wide margin of maneuver to be able to operate,” concludes the police report.

The AUGC has long been demanding the declaration of the Campo del Gibraltar Area of ​​Special Singularity with the aim that the agents receive higher remuneration and their passage there, as happened in Euskadi and Navarra during the decades of ETA terrorism, is included in the order of merits when requesting destination. They would be incentives that would keep agents away from temptation, explains spokesman Ramos. Francisco Mena agrees and assures that this would avoid what is happening today, that the ‘clean’ agents “spend two years here and then pick a ticket.”

The guard Miguel Ángel Ramos is stationed in La Línea de la Concepción and explains the day to day of working and living with the ‘narco’. “The guards prefer not to live in La Línea. You meet the narcos at Mercadona. Your children go to school where the narcos go. You detain them one day, but they go free, and you meet them on the street. they have rebuked their women in the playground, “says the AUGC spokesperson.

Francisco Mena assures that the situation of impunity that was visualized in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Campo de Gibraltar has changed in recent months. The Ministry of the Interior ensures that police operations in the area have grown by 51% since the Special Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar was launched, which includes, from 2018 to December 2021, the reinforcement of human and material resources of the Security Forces to combat drug trafficking. “Money laundering is being deepened, which leads to important businessmen, administration officials, also police and civil guards, or officials of the Maritime Service,” explains the spokesman for the citizen platform.

The broad-mindedness of drug traffickers when doing business implies that other employees and officials who are not members of the Security Forces also fall into their networks. Last June, along with a former local soccer player and a former PP councilor in Algeciras, the veterinarian of the Border Inspection Post, responsible for inspecting containers with perishable products, was arrested in an operation. Last week, four stevedores fell, they had burst the seals of a container, they had taken out bags with 31 kilos of cocaine, forged and put the seals back on.



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