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IPFS News Link • Spain

Priest arrested for operating illegal Viagra trafficking operation from his home

• https://metro.co, Tom Sanders and Natalia Penza

The cleric was held in the town of Don Benito in the western province of Badajoz near Spain's border with Portugal.

Police arrested the suspect in a rectory where he lived with a man described as his partner, who was also detained after police carried out a search of the property.

The pair went to court on Tuesday and were quizzed by an investigating magistrate for more than four hours.

The priest, named locally as Alfonso Raul Masa Soto, was released on bail and has been ordered to sign on at a local court every fortnight.

Meanwhile, his unidentified partner was jailed pending an ongoing criminal investigation.

The arrests occurred on Monday after a weeks-long Civil Guard investigation.

Viagra is said to have been found inside the rectory as well as other drugs described as 'powerful aphrodisiacs.'

The Diocese of Plasencia which Don Benito belongs to said it regretted the priest's detention because of the 'pain and suffering' it entails.

It said in a statement: 'We are waiting for further clarification while the investigation continues.

'We are following its development with caution and respect for the people involved and stand ready to co-operate in all that is necessary.'·

A central government spokesman for the region confirmed two arrests had taken place but did not offer any more details.

The priest has been described locally as a 'very popular' man.


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