A fortnight after one of Spain’s most wanted drug traffickers appeared in a raunchy music video, he has turned himself in at a police station close to the Gibraltar border.
Described by police as the head of the Castaña clan, Francisco Tejón has been on the run since 2016.
His video appearance was widely seen as taunting police for their failure to find him.
His brother was arrested in June during a big police operation.
Who is ‘Isco’?
Known as “Isco”, Francisco Tejón and his gang at one point commanded as much as 80% of the local cannabis market in the border town of La Linea de la Concepción, which has been plagued by drug-related crime. The drugs were often smuggled in from Morocco, a short distance away across the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Castaña clan started out as tobacco thieves but their move into the drug trade brought with it a life of luxury hotels, yachts and women, Efe news agency reports.
Francisco Tejón and his brother Antonio fled to Morocco when 30 members of the clan were arrested in a cross-border police operation.
They eventually returned to the area around La Linea, and were thought to have been linked to an attack on a hospital last February. Twenty people stormed the building and freed a member of the clan who had been hurt when his motorbike crashed as he tried to evade arrest.
Antonio Tejón was eventually tracked down to a house in La Linea and arrested in a major police operation in June.
Tejón’s racy video cameo
His brother continued to evade police and was seen as poking fun at them when he appeared in a 2 October music video by Spanish reggaeton singer Clase A. Reggaeton is a music style that developed in Latin America and has since found popularity in Spain.
The fugitive was shown getting out of a Bentley, standing alongside Clase A and going into a house filled with women in bikinis.
When the song, Candela, came out on YouTube, police scoured it for evidence of where Francisco Tejón had been hiding. According to Clase A’s social media posts the video had been shot in a mansion in the southern province of Málaga.
Last month an anonymous Instagram account began posting pictures of drug dealers living a life of partying, alongside insulting comments and threats.
While there was no indication that Francisco Tejón was among them, Spanish police believed the photos may have come from an informer.
Police have recently stepped up their war against the area’s drug traffickers in the region and had a significant success when another drug baron dubbed the “Messi of hashish” handed himself in a year ago.
Francisco Tejón was said to have been negotiating his surrender with police before he walked into the police station early on Wednesday morning.