Two men get out of a Bentley Continental, a luxury car worth more than €200,000. “The king of charm is back,” sings Spanish reggaeton performer Clase-A as he leaves the vehicle. The men head to a house where they are surrounded by semi-naked women. There is champagne with sparklers, a hot tub and all the other cliches you would expect from the genre. Except in this video, the other man who gets out of the car is Francisco Tejón, the biggest drug trafficker in Campo de Gibraltar, in the south of Spain.
Tejón is the leader of the Castaña clan, a cartel that has made more than €30 million from drug trafficking in recent years, according to police investigators. A warrant for his arrest has been out since 2016 but being one of the most-wanted men in Spain did not dissuade Tejón from starring in the music video for the song Candela. Nor did the fact his brother Antonio was arrested in June.
The outside of a house used for private orgies is seen in the video
The music video was published on YouTube on October 2 and since then it has been watched more than 41,000 times. Police sources from La Línea de la Concepción, one of the areas hardest hit by drug crime in the region and the home of the drug trafficker, confirm that the man in the clip is Tejón.
The police are now investigating the appearance in the video, confident that it will aid Tejón’s definitive arrest. Officers say that the music video was a gesture of arrogance in the face of the security forces, as well as a warning to the hashish drug clans that he is still around.
But it’s also an act of overt exposure, one that could be costly for him. Not long ago, an Instagram account shared photos of the drug kingpins’ parties, prostitutes and girlfriends, in an apparent act of revenge. Since that betrayal, the Civil Guard says, Tejón has lost trust in his lieutenants and has taken a more active role in controlling his gang. “He’s more exposed now,” one officer states. “He’ll fall thanks to that arrogance.”
Tejón is the leader of the Castaña clan, which has made more than €30 million from drug trafficking
In some scenes of the video, there are images of the outside of the house used by the gang for private orgies, according to an EL PAÍS investigation. And in September, Clase-A shared various photos and videos of the filming process on social media. Tejón did not appear in any of those images. If the video was made last month – and not before the end of 2016 when the arrest warrant was issued – it would mean the drug lord has been living in Campo de Gibraltar with complete impunity.
Tejón stars in various scenes in the three-and-a-half-minute video, almost always surrounded by women in skimpy bikinis. After leaving the Bentley, he sits as half-naked women grind around him on a couch. He is seen again at the swimming pool with more dancing semi-clad ladies. The video finally ends with Tejón and Clase-A, both with their shirts off, entering a room called Mazmorra (Dungeon) where women await them on a circular bed.
The house that appears in the video is well known to the police. Officers previously was thought it was just another one of the cartel’s many properties, one of the 17 listed in the 2017 investigation Operation Ronal. But when they entered the home, located in the Guadacorte de los Barrios residential estate in Cádiz, they discovered that it was being used by the cartel to organize private orgies. The house had a pool, bar, dark room, circular beds and rooms with object used for sadomasochist practices.
It was indicative of the decadence of drug gang leaders used to living the high life. But the fortune of the Castaña drug lords began to change at the end of 2016. In 2017, police launched the drug-trafficking investigation Operation Ronal, which led to the arrest of 30 members of the Castaña cartel and forced two of the Tejón brothers into hiding. On June 7, Antonio Tejón was arrested in La Línea in an operation that required more than 100 officers.
Police are now hoping the video clip will give them clues into the whereabouts of Francisco Tejón. According to some rumors, he is in Morocco, while others say he is moving around La Línea undetected thanks to a motorcycle helmet. After so much time living in hiding, Tejón has finally shown his face – not to hand himself over to the police but to showcase his kitsch life of luxury.
English version by Melissa Kitson.