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Cocaine probe puts spotlight on Spanish Liga

Latest update : 2009-02-26

The seizure Wednesday of 600 kilos (1,320 pounds) of cocaine hidden inside shipping containers has sparked an investigation involving several past and present players in the Spanish Liga as well as two FIFA agents, Spanish media report.

AFP - Two FIFA agents and several current and former football players with Spanish clubs are under investigation as part of a probe into cocaine trafficking, Spanish media reported Wednesday.

The operation, carried out in Madrid and the Mediterranean port of Valencia, led to the seizure Wednesday of 600 kilos (1,320 pounds) of cocaine hidden in shipping containers, the online edition of sports daily AS said, citing sources close to the investigation.

The reports did not name which footballers were under investigation but AS said some were from first division side Atletico Madrid as well as from second division side Rayo Vallecano and Poli Ejido which is in the third division.

Spain, with its historical and linguistic ties to South America, is Europe's main entry point for cocaine from the continent, especially from Colombia, the world's top producer of the drug.

Spanish customs agents seized 21.8 tonnes of cocaine in 2008, according to provisional figures, down from 25 tonnes in the previous year.

Over 8,000 people were jailed in Spain last year for cocaine trafficking.

Date created : 2009-02-26

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