ONE of Europe's largest cocaine-smuggling rackets has been broken up and eight Brits living on the Costa del Sol are among those arrested.
The accused parties had planned to wait until France relaxed its border controls, tightened up following the terrorist attacks, and then transport nearly three tonnes of cocaine to The Netherlands and the UK for onward sale.
Along with the eight British nationals, two Dutch and two Spanish suspects have been taken into custody.
The Spaniards are long-distance delivery drivers who would have been in charge with distributing the drug in northern Europe.
A swoop involving the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and the United States' drug unit, DEA, led to €1.2 million in cash being seized from properties in the province of Málaga and in the north-western region of Galicia, along with several vehicles and various firearms.
As yet, police are still trying to ascertain who brought the cocaine from Colombia and how they did so, but the forces are confident they have managed to stop it from leaving Spain.
They believe the Dutch suspects brought the cocaine to Spain, the Brits bought it from them and arranged for it to be delivered, and the Spaniards transported it for sale in the UK.
This is thought to be the largest-ever 'dry-land' drug bust in European history, and one of those which has seen the most money involved.
National Police leader Ignacio Cosidó says the crooks 'committed the fatal mistake' of thinking they could use Spain as a base for their operations.
He says the country, along with the UK and USA, is a world leader in the fight against drug-smuggling and dealing, meaning those involved in such activities are at high risk of getting caught.