Spanish security forces arrested 63 suspected members of a gang whose main activity was ripping off drug traffickers but who also engaged in murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and fraud, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The organization had stolen five tons of hashish from a French gang and was intending to take 1,800 kilos of drugs to Croatia.

Besides the 63 arrests, 14 other people have been criminally charged and six more are waiting to give statements, bringing the total number of people linked with the gang's illegal activities to 83.

Among the people arrested is a prison official who brought cell phones and drugs to inmates who had been members of the network and a Civil Guard officer who "insured" the transport of hashish and cocaine.

The gang's targeting of drug traffickers led to clashes among the rival organizations and efforts to settle scores that, on occasion, resulted in shootouts. EFE