Bikini-clad revellers were snapped posing for selfies as armed police stormed a famous Costa del Sol beach club and ordered holidaymakers out of the pool in what they said was a two-hour ‘routine check’ over the bank holiday weekend.

Footage from the popular Marbella resort of Puerto Banus showed long files of police officers marching through the grounds of the Ocean Club as bemused guests made the most of its biannual champagne party, a tradition popular with its British guests.

Tourists were urged to stay calm, assured over loudspeakers that police were only carrying out a ‘routine check’ with ‘nothing serious going on’ as a helicopter circled overhead during their sweep on Saturday.

One clubber is understood to have been arrested, although police have not yet commented officially on the reason for the detention.

The raid over the weekend came amid a concerted effort to clamp down on violent crime in the region, with police last week announcing they had arrested 10 people from 300 ‘security checks’ as part of a so-called ‘Marbella Plan’.

Revellers stand and take a photo as police enter the famous Ocean Club in Marbella

Revellers stand and take a photo as police enter the famous Ocean Club in Marbella

The national police force enters the site at Puerto Banus on May 25, 2024

The national police force enters the site at Puerto Banus on May 25, 2024

A police officer appears to usher holidaymakers out of the way during the sudden 'checks'

A police officer appears to usher holidaymakers out of the way during the sudden ‘checks’

Revellers can only look on bemused as the gaggle of officers conduct their sweep

Revellers can only look on bemused as the gaggle of officers conduct their sweep

Some 20 police officers were seen pacing through the resort over the Bank Holiday weekend

Some 20 police officers were seen pacing through the resort over the Bank Holiday weekend

The spectacular club raid followed a string of shootings in the area, sparking the launch of the ‘Marbella Plan’ last month to keep British and Irish tourists safe.

Police warned locals and visitors at the time they could expect to see more random stops and police checkpoints in and around the holiday destination.

They said nothing about surprise raids on busy tourist-popular venues, although earlier this month heavily-armed officers crashed a gym at a sports club in the residential area of Nueva Andalucia near Puerto Banus and made three arrests.

Police claimed last week that they had made ten arrests between April 11 and May 10, claiming to have carried out as many as 300 security checks throughout the city.

Sweeps were reported to have taken place in ‘a dozen’ bars and nightclubs, with 1,300 cars vehicles stopped and searched as part of the radical new measures. 

Altogether, some 3,000 people were stopped and ‘checked’ as part of the Marbella Plan during the period – intended to help push back the tide of shootings in the region. 

Police claimed there had been a ‘significant reduction’ in the number of burglaries and vehicle thefts correlated with the operation, as reported by Euro Weekly News

Marbella has been rocked by a string of attacks this year, notably including a March 11 attack on British-run eatery La Sala near Puerto Banus that led to the arrests in April of a British man and Irish national described by police as having links to organised crime.

Kerry Katona claimed recently she had U-turned on a decision to move to the famous Costa del Sol resort with her family including fiancé Ryan Mahoney because she no longer feels safe about the prospect following the violent incidents there.

Fernando Bentabol, the prosecutor in charge of combatting narco crime in the province of Malaga which Marbella is part of, shone the spotlight on its dark underbelly in a recent newspaper interview by likening it to Medellin, the former home of notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Asked by a local Spanish journalist if the Costa del Sol was turning into Medellin, he said: ‘Yes and no. It can’t be compared to Medellin because countries such as Colombia are the ones that produce drugs, and most of the actions there are related to plantations, as happens in Morocco for example with cannabis.

‘We are in the area where the drugs are introduced and distributed to Europe.

‘But in terms of the level of the organisations involved and their economic capacity, yes it can of course be compared.’

Locals have branded parts of Marbella like Puerto Banus the ‘Wild West’.

One suggested recently tourists should start thinking about putting on a bullet-proof vest with their swim shorts and sandals.

Another wrote on social media, expressing her fears an innocent person could be killed: ‘A stray bullet could end up entering a house.’

In the early hours of Saturday morning a 33-year-old man was shot on a residential estate a short drive from Puerto Banus, just across the Marbella muncipal border in the neighbouring municipality of Estepona.

No arrests have yet been made. Around ten shell casings thought to have been fired from an AK-47 were reportedly found on the ground at the scene.

British man Marcus Stewart mowed down several pedestrians in May 2017 after speeding away from the Ocean Club in an Audi following a fight between two groups of men from the UK.

He was arrested by an armed cop on the beach after a police chase following a spectacular head-on crash on Marbella’s famous Golden Mile with a car carrying an 18 day-old baby. He was later jailed for more than five years.

No charges were brought against a second Brit held in the drama, a passenger in the car.

An officer wearing a balaclava stands guard during 'routine checks' on the Marbella resort

An officer wearing a balaclava stands guard during ‘routine checks’ on the Marbella resort

An officer passes through bemused holidaymakers at the Ocean Club in Marbella, Spain

An officer passes through bemused holidaymakers at the Ocean Club in Marbella, Spain

Puerto Banus is a popular hotspot for foreign holidaymakers in Marbella, Spain

Puerto Banus is a popular hotspot for foreign holidaymakers in Marbella, Spain

La Sala, a popular venue in Marbella, was the centre of a shooting back in March (stock)

La Sala, a popular venue in Marbella, was the centre of a shooting back in March (stock)

Bullets pierced the glass during an attack in March, prompting concerns about local safety

Bullets pierced the glass during an attack in March, prompting concerns about local safety 

The Ocean Club describes itself on its website as the ‘original classic beach club in Marbella and a reference for style, modern luxury and an atmosphere that has made it famous as one of Europe’s chic favourites for relaxing, partying and enjoying the best that summer has to offer.’

It adds: ‘Daytimes are easygoing, with a quality restaurant, while our themed parties are famous for being as glamorous as they are exciting and lively. Live music, dancers, entertainers and beautiful people make it an experience to remember.’

It held its opening party this year on May 3 and its second champagne party on Sunday, a day after the weekend police raid.

High-season bed packages round its saltwater pool cost up to £980. The most expensive packages include three bottles of Veuve Clicquot. 

Revellers who book the most expensive VIP beds are warned online there is an additional £955 minimum spend on Saturdays.

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