POLICE have uncovered a marihuana plantation in an unlikely location: a private bullring in the Almogía area of Malaga! The ‘plaza de toros’(bullring), is located within the grounds of a country estate in Los Pilones. It had effectively been converted into an enormous greenhouse housing hundreds of marihuana plants, with plastic sheeting covering the arena.
The operation, codenamed ‘verde y oro’ (green and gold), resulted in six arrests, among them an ex-councillor to the PSOE party in the area, Manuel Aranda. Aranda is the brother of Diego, the Izquierda Unida political party member arrested last April after police found 180 marihuana plants in his home. The case was dropped when the judge considered that no crime had been committed. Sources close to the socialist politician have stated that Manuel Aranda is in no way connected to the plantation found at Los Pilones, and that he did not even have access to the estate. In a statement they said: “[Manuel Aranda] was only lending a hand to the tenants by helping to maintain solar panels and a water well on the property due to his friendship with the estate’s owners.”
The police’s suspicions were raised when they noticed the plastic sheeting covering the bullring, and a man patrolling the boundaries of the farm. After months of investigation, Coín’s Judicial Police together with customs officers launched a raid on the estate, and discovered an organised operation that points to the cultivation of the drug for shipment abroad. The raid produced six arrests including Aranda, 500 growing marihuana plants and a large quantity of cut plants. Initial estimates report over 50 kilos of marihuana were seized.