‘Villa Narco’, the luxurious residential area for drug criminals in Spain

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Villa Narco

In the shadow of the recent tragedy in Barbate, where two Guardia Civil officers died after being rammed by a drug smuggling boat, more and more details are being revealed about the drug trade in Spain.

The tragic incident sheds light on the increasing power and influence of drug criminals in the Campo de Gibraltar area. There in the wider area of southern Spain around Gibraltar, they not only dominate the seas between North Africa and southern Spain. They have also firmly established their domains on land.

Villa Narco

La Línea de la Concepción, a city in the province of Cádiz, has long struggled with the influence of drug traffickers. In this municipality, a special area has become a symbol of their power: ‘Villa Narco’. This district covers approximately 19,000 square metres and is located in the El Zabal district. It’s officially a protected rural area, but it’s full of illegally built luxury chalets, complete with large plots and ostentatious swimming pools. The roads there are not even paved. According to the newspaper 20Minutos, the villas are all owned by those involved in the drug trade.

Illegally built

According to La Voz de Cádiz, illegal houses have been built in the drug district since 1995. All authentic luxury villas on large plots with flashy swimming pools, built on land that was theoretically intended for industrial warehouses. These chalets, which violate local planning regulations, feature high walls, security cameras, and even secret passages and shelters. This makes them almost impregnable for the authorities, who are also reluctant to venture there. The proximity of these properties to the port of La Atunara makes them ideal for the illegal activities of the drug traffickers. El Cabra’ also has a house here. He has been arrested on suspicion of driving the drug boat that killed Civil Guard officers in Barbate.

Cogesa Expats

Owners unknown

The Policia Nacional, the Guardia Civil and customs make countless efforts to tackle this enclave of crime. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to trace and prosecute the true owners of these properties. Many houses are registered in the names of front men. This complicates direct action against the drug traffickers themselves.

Catch red handed

The arrests are also complex: without a court order, they must be caught red-handed in order to be arrested. If that is not possible, the authorities collect information and evidence and transfer it to the judicial authority. He is then charged with ordering arrests and seizures. Although, according to police sources, courts are too overloaded to speed up these proceedings against drug criminals.

However, there have been operations and arrests in the area, and not just for drug trafficking. Also for crimes against building regulations by building on that protected land. And which, as everyone in La Línea knows, is the center of drug traffickers’ activities.

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