British Consulate: Better drug checks needed in Ibiza

15/08/13

San Antonio

The British Consulate in Ibiza has told Newsbeat that police on the island are not doing enough to stop drug smuggling.

They say although Civil Guard officers work "extremely hard" there is a wider issue with border controls.

It follows the arrest of two women in Peru over suspected drug trafficking.

Melissa Reid, 19 and from Glasgow, and Michaella McCollum, 20 and from Dungannon, were stopped last week with £1.5 million worth of cocaine.

The pair claim they were recruited by a gang in Ibiza where they had both been working.

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum

"I think that the police are working extremely hard in Ibiza in very difficult circumstances," explained Andrew Gwatkin from the island's British consulate.

"The vast majority [of drugs] are not produced in Ibiza though so international collaboration would be one of the positive and constructive ways we could tackle this problem."

Smuggling offers

Andrew Gwatkin admits something like this case has never come to their attention before, but Newsbeat has discovered several examples of young British people being approached on the island to smuggle drugs.

Katie (not her real name) is working in San Antonio this summer selling club tickets.

Ibiza airport

The 21-year-old said: "A friend of mine was working in a club here last summer and a man would come in and buy her drinks.

"She was going back to the UK and he asked her to bring a package back with her.

"He told her it was completely safe and in return she would get quite a large fee for it.

"Luckily she said no and didn't do it."

There can be underlying dark issues you see when you work here rather than come here to holiday. I knew a person who got paid an amount to go back to England and bring back MDMA to the island
Sam (not his real name)

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old-man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was asked to take £20,000 worth of drugs money back to the UK in cash.

He said he was offered £2,000 but refused the offer.

Many of the clubbers and workers Newsbeat has spoken to say these are isolated cases, while others suggest there are problems created by gangs.

"There can be underlying dark issues you see when you work here rather than come here to holiday," said Sam (not his real name), 25 and from Kent.

"I knew a person who got paid an amount to go back to England and bring back MDMA to the island," he revealed.

"She didn't get caught and was stupid enough to do it again."

Marcus Donnelly

Marcus Donnelly, 20, is a club promoter in his second season on the island.

He admits drugs are an integral part of Ibiza and says clamping down on them could ruin tourism.

"We make 350 euros a week but someone selling drugs could make that in two days," he explained.

"I have never sold them but that isn't the norm.

"But if you get caught up in anything all you have to do is say no and there is help out here."

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