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Police uncover plot to peddle “shabu” from Spain 

page 18 police


Police have uncovered a plot to introduce the dangerous new synthetic drug “shabu” on to the holiday islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.

The  crystalised meth is a powerful stimulant which keeps the user awake for several days at a time and sells for up to 500 euros a gram, even more expensive than cocaine. One dose can change hands for 50 euros and can be highly addictive but eventually causes physical and mental exhaustion with psychotic  symptoms which can last for months or even years.

The drug is widely used in Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and America but has rarely been detected in Spain – until now.

Police have arrested 29 people, mainly in Madrid, for being members of a drug trafficking gang. Human couriers known as “pigs” were used to bring the “shabu” in to Spain and splinter groups were then set up to sell to dealers, usually over the phone.

Emails were found setting up contacts in Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca in order to open up new markets.

When police raided four properties in Madrid, the suspects threw drugs out of the window and flushed them down toilets. However, officers still managed to seize 427 grams of shabu worth half a million pounds. Guns, mobile phones and computers were also taken away.

Most of those arrested are Filipinos.

Police fear that if shabu takes a hold elsewhere, it could lead to a string of “shooting galleries” where users go to sniff or smoke the drug.