Spanish police detain Pakistani heroin smugglers

Spanish police detain Pakistani heroin smugglers Madrid: 14 people, including 12 Pakistani nationals, have been detained in Spain, Portugal and Denmark on suspicion of forming part of a group that smuggled heroin into the continent, Spanish police said today.

More than 32 kilos of heroin from Pakistan was seized as part of the operation co-ordinated by Spanish police, more than half of it in Spain, as well over 22,000 euros (USD 32,000) in cash and several mobile telephones, they said in a statement.

The group would hide the drugs in furniture, suitcases with false bottoms, carpets and paintings.

Nine people were detained in Spain. Three others were arrested in Denmark and another two in Portugal at the request of Spanish police.

In addition to the 12 Pakistanis, police detained a Portuguese and a Ghanaian citizen.

Police said they began their operation in May after three people were arrested in the north-eastern port city of Barcelona who had received a piece of furniture shipped from Britain with nearly eight kilos of heroin inside it.

In 2008, police seized more than 316 kilos of heroin from a yacht near Barcelona in what they said at the time was the "biggest-ever" apprehension of the drug in Spain.