An investigation into drug trafficking conducted by a judge in Torrevieja has ended up uncovering a corruption scheme that involves a dozen agents from the Civil Guard in the Vega Baja, specifically the barracks of the city of Torrevieja and El Pilar de the Horadada.

Ten officers have been arrested, nine of which have been placed in custody, by order of the magistrate of the Torrevieja court of Instruction number 2

Another 16 people have been arrested or are being investigated in the same operation bringing the number of people involved in the case to 26.

Ten Civil Guard officers arrested for corruption
Ten Civil Guard officers arrested for corruption

There are various offences being investigated as part of the enquiry. Two agents are accused of trafficking drugs while remaining crimes include bribery, the disclosure of secrets, membership of a criminal group, extortion, coercion, theft and the falsification of documents.

The proceedings were ordered by Judge Juana López Hoyas, head of the Court of Instruction number 2 of Torrevieja. They were originally opened in 2015 after a report warning of the alleged illicit activities of the group, since when they have been conducted in complete secrecy. For the moment that secrecy will continue in respect of the evidence and the specific charges so the defence lawyers are still waiting to be briefed about the specific details of the investigation which is being carried out by agents of the Judicial Police from Alicante.

Arrests of at least five people, including a member of the Civil Guard, were first made in September and all were remanded in custody. During recent weeks there have been more arrests culmination with the detention of the ten civil guards, nine of which have been sent to prison.

The operation, christened by the Civil Guard as “Sakura”, has been carried out in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia, Cádiz and Murcia. The arrest of the agents has been made in the municipalities of the Vega Baja except one carried out in the Region of Murcia, where the civil guard was residing.

The operation has caused great concern and uncertainty among the agents stationed in Torrevieja and Pilar de la Horadada. It also coincides with the arrival of the new commander, Antonio José Leal Bernabéu, who took up his office less than two months ago and follows on the back of corruption exposed just last week in the Torrevieja Local Police force where two officers are accused of extorting merchants.