MADRID – The Spanish National Police, in collaboration with the Dutch authorities, has dismantled a criminal organisation involved in international drug transport by road. The group was based on the Costa del Sol and Tenerife.
As reported by the Spanish police in a press release, a total of 23 members of the organisation were arrested in Málaga, Granada, Murcia, Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands. Moreover, ten house searches were carried out during the operation, which was coordinated by Europol. Subsequently, the following was seized;
- 323 kilograms of marijuana
- 71 kilograms of hashish
- 300 grams of cocaine
- 2 kilograms of MMDA
- 4 firearms
- a counterfeit weapon
- an air gun
- 19 vehicles
- various computer equipment
The drugs were often transported in vehicles where they were hidden among various types of goods, sometimes coated with polyurethane – an insulating material. Moreover, this was to make detection difficult. Furthermore, international logistics companies were also used to hide the drugs between pallets of different types of goods.
Interception of six drug shipments
The investigative operation began in 2021 and resulted in the interception of six drug shipments that the criminal organisation planned to carry out between 2021 and 2023. The organisation also used encrypted communication, with an investment of €200,000 in an encrypted server to facilitate communication between members.
Research co-funded by the EU
The research was co-funded by the European Union as part of EMPACT (Multidisciplinary European Platform against Criminal Threats), a partnership of EU member states and agencies to tackle the most important and cross-border criminal threats.
All detainees have been taken into pre-trial detention after being brought before a judge.