A British man with liver disease has been arrested in Spain after police raided the Airbnb property he was staying in and found £5 million worth of cannabis. Fifty-one-year-old Robert Mansfield-Hewitt says he had no idea the drugs were in the garage of the let and denies all involvement.
Mr Mansfield-Hewitt, who works as an engineer, was arrested in June and has still not been charged by Spanish police, the Daily Mirror reports.
British man Robert Mansfield-Hewitt has been arrested in Spain after police raided the Airbnb property he was staying in and found £5 million worth of cannabis (Picture: Facebook)
He is being held at Botafuegos prison in Algeciras and could face six years in prison if convicted.
Mr Mansfield-Hewitt booked the property for a business trip through Airbnb, an online site that allows people to lease out their own homes or rented properties to third parties.
He is believed to be staying in the jail’s medical wing after collapsing and being rushed to intensive care due to issues connected to his liver condition, ascites.
Speaking to the Mirror, an unnamed friend of Mr Mansfield-Hewitt said: ‘He [Mr Mansfield-Hewitt] said he had only been in the Airbnb property 48 hours when it was raided and he was brought out in his pants.
‘He’s a very ill person and had already been hospitalised four times this year. He has irreversible liver disease and is on a lot of medication. He can’t really move very quickly and is reliant on his stick. It’s crazy he is accused of this.
‘I’m convinced Rob has been stitched up and they’re using him as a scapegoat over there.’
He is being held at Botafuegos prison in Algeciras (pictured) and could face six years in prison if convicted (Picture: Mark Large/ANL/REX/Shutterstock)
Neighours of the property in the coastal town of Campamento said that, on the night of June 27, around seven armed officers raided the gated home and brought out Mr Mansfield-Hewitt and a Spanish man.
They found 48 packets of cannabis weighing 33 kilos each – almost 1.5 tonnes – in the garage.
It is understood the Airbnb property’s owner, a 62-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, has not been quizzed as part of the investigation – despite having a previous drug conviction.
He is said to be at his home four miles away in Gibraltar.
Mr Mansfield-Hewitt booked the property for a business trip through Airbnb, an online site that allows people to lease out their own homes or rented properties to third parties (Picture: Jeff Blackler/REX/Shutterstock)
Mr Mansfield-Hewitt’s lawyer, Jose Maria Castro Escudero, said: ‘He doesn’t have anything to do with this. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
‘They don’t have a single piece of evidence that links him to the drugs.’
Gillian Keegan – Mr Mansfield-Hewitt’s local MP in his hometown of Chichester, West Sussex – said she is ‘very concerned’ about his arrest and his health.
The British Consulate said it is assisting Mr Mansfield-Hewitt and is in contact with Spanish police. Airbnb has removed the property from its listings and is probing the incident.