Spanish drug lord caught after music video cameo
Francisco Tejon surrendered to police after starring role in reggaeton video
Spain’s most wanted drug trafficker is in police custody after he was spotted making a cameo appearance in a music video surrounded by women in bikinis.
Officers had been searching for Francisco Tejon for nearly two years when he walked into a police station in Andalucia on Wednesday morning accompanied by his lawyer, ready to turn himself in.
The 39-year-old, nicknamed “Isco”, is thought to be the leader of the Castanas gang, which “dominates the hashish trade between Morocco and southern Spain”, The Guardian reports.
The gang’s operations centre on the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, whose proximity to the Moroccan coast makes it “the frontline of Spain’s battle against the traffickers”. In 2017, police seized 145,372kg of hashish in the region, as well as 11,785kg of cocaine
In June, Tejon’s younger brother, Antonio, was nabbed in a police raid involving more than 100 officers.
However, there was no sign of “Isco” until earlier this month, when he emerged from hiding in an unexpected fashion - in a cameo appearance in a music video by Cuban reggaeton singer Clase-A.
In the clip for the singer’s new track Candela, Tejon and Clase-A are shown “climbing out of a Bentley and performing a high-five before walking into a house full of champagne and women in bikinis”, The Guardian reports.
To add insult to injury, some scenes were “shot outside a house once used by Los Castanas for their private orgies”, El Pais reports. Doubtless to the chagrin of the detectives pursuing Tejon, “it appears that he never left the city in this entire time”.
The video was uploaded on 7 October and “amassed 50,000 views on YouTube before being replaced by an audio-only version as the controversy over Tejon’s appearance grew”, says The Daily Telegraph.
In a statement, Spain’s National Police said Tejon’s arrest “dismantled the top level of the biggest hashish-smuggling gang that operates in the Campo de Gibraltar area” and praised officers’ “ceaseless” pursuit of the gang’s inner circle.
However, the battle for La Linea de la Concepcion is far from over. Although Los Castanas were estimated to control 60% of the drugs trade, police estimate there could be more than 30 drug gangs and 3,000 direct collaborators operating in the area, El Pais reports.