"Famous poker player" arrested with huge drug stash at Ibiza's airport

Jon Pill
Posted on: July 21, 2021 12:03 PDT

A "famous poker player" was arrested in Ibiza over the weekend. The charges were related to crimes against public health, the faintly dystopian term for drug violations in Spain. The player was caught with an impressive drug collection at Es Codolar airport.


According to an English translation of a report in the Spanish language poker site Poker Red, the player has now been identified as Salman Behbahani, a Kuwaiti-born player who is a regular on the High Roller circuit, with over $3 million in live tournament cashes.

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Although initial reports suggested that the courts had let the perp go with charges pending. Today, the court confirmed that the player was sent to jail by Judge María Luisa Bustillo Gandarillas. The poker player was not given the option of bail.

The courts are still keeping the player's name on the down-low. But he is described as a 33-year-old with dual Italian-Kuwaiti nationality. He was aboard a private jet chartered out of Vegas with 30 other people. The player's description is so precise as to undo any attempts at anonymity. But, as yet, no one has dug up the player's real name.

The poker world is pretty small. It's probably only a matter of time before someone ID's the real player on Twitter.

Wild speculation on the 2+2 forums got as far as guessing the player was Rick Salomon. Salomon is a 53-year-old, Canadian-born American. So, the sleuths at 2+2 are not yet earning their retainers. Salomon is also famous for distributing sex-tapes without getting the woman's consent. As a poker player, he is very much on the C-list.

Fear and loathing in Ibiza

The list of confiscated drugs included tucibi. Tucibi is a designer synthetic in the amphetamine family, and one of several drugs assigned the street name pink cocaine. First created in the 70s, tucibi has been experiencing a recent revival. Especially among a rarified circle of drug enthusiasts.

As translated by Google from the Italian of Periodica de Ibiza y Formentera, the drug haul stood at: "315 grams of cocaine, 171 grams of CB, 705 grams of hashish, 80 grams of crystal, as well as other similar amounts of marijuana, speed, ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms, poppers, L.S.D. and other substances to be determined."

The description of the haul has the ring of Hunter S. Thompson about it. It is hard not to think about the similar catalogue in the opening paragraphs of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

"Not that we needed all that for the trip," Raoul Duke—the narrator of Fear and Loathing and Thomson's literary avatar, says. "But once you get locked into a serious drug-collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can."

Along with the drugs, customs officials snagged a huge stack of cash. The money seizure included: €6,220, US $1,785 , £485, 101,200 Thai baht, and 100 Kuwaiti dinars. All in all, the haul is worth about $13k at the current exchange rates.

Carrying this much cash is not unusual for a gambler. But in conjunction with the drugs, it is a bad look. That goes double for anyone trying to prove that their full kilo-and-a-half of narcotics was intended purely for personal use.

Featured image source: Flickr by Mark Bonica