A BRITISH organised crime gang plotting to kill the leader of a rival racket has been arrested in Marbella.
The gang – five men and a woman – were based in Manchester, UK, and were known as The A Team, but had travelled to the Costa del Sol to murder the ringleader of a rival tribe called The Anti-A Team.
Both gangs were involved in drug-trafficking and settling of scores, and had been behind a series of armed confrontations in the UK.
Huge knives hidden under sofa cushions, handguns, gloves, a loaded 9mm Parabellum pistol, baseball bats, knuckle-dusters, balaclavas, a straitjacket and mobile phones, among other weapons and protective clothing were seized during raids on two properties in Marbella.
Police believe the victim was going to be placed in the straitjacket, the pockets filled with stones, and then thrown in the sea.
It was the British National Crime Agency (NCA) which contacted Spanish authorities to tell them of 'major public alarm' in Manchester as a result of the sudden rise in gun crime traced to the rival gangs, which were found to be a regular occurrence ad had caused deaths of women and children totally unrelated to either organisation.
Realising the law was on their trail, the Anti-A Team leader fled to the Costa del Sol to hide out, but he was swiftly followed by his A-Team counterpart who then began to summon other members to join him.
They had been keeping a close eye on areas frequented by their quarry, and were said to be highly professional and employing tight security procedures when returning to base or making telephone calls.
The Málaga branch of Spain's Special Security Operations Group (GOES) tracked them down, but just before they were arrested the six gang members snapped their phones in half and flushed their SIM cards down the toilet.
As well as the NCA and GOES, the Judicial Police organised crime squad, the Costa del Sol's branch of the Central Organised Crime Brigade, Málaga National Police and Manchester Metropolitan Police worked closely together in the operation.
All six Mancunians were caught before they managed to cause any harm to their rival.
Photograph: Items seized during Marbella house raids. Picture taken by the National Police from Málaga