Pubdate: Sat, 05 Nov 2005
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Dale Fuchs, in Madrid, The Guardian


They looked like a real football team - with snarling coach included.
But the 10 men arrested at the weekend in Spain's southern province of
Cadiz were not going to play a match, despite their yellow and blue

They were drug traffickers who used their footballs, knapsacks and
club strips, emblazoned with the team name of a local town, Guillen
Moreno CF, as a ruse to fool border police as they passed from the
Spanish enclave of Ceuta, in North Africa, to Algeciras, on the
southern Spanish mainland, a police spokesman in Cadiz said."They were
not going to play football," he said. "Their game was drugs."

The fake team would usually cross the Straits of Gibraltar into the
province of Cadiz on Saturday afternoons with the hash tucked beneath
their jerseys and stage a drama to enhance their credibility before
border agents.

The supposed manager, 49, would carry a roster in his hand and
continuously bark at the young men. "He would shout: 'Everybody pay
attention, everybody stay right here!' and 'Come on, follow me!'" the
Cadiz police commissioner, Jose Maria Deira, told El Mundo newspaper.

The players would cross back to Ceuta on Sundays after the fictional
match and actual drug sales on the mainland. Police do not know how
long the fake season lasted before a tip spurred an investigation. The
game ended when officers stopped their cars in Cadiz and found a total
of 16kg of hash hidden beneath the men's strips in little pellets
taped to their bodies, a police spokesman said. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake