ANDALUCIA – The Civil Guard and the Tax Agency, in collaboration with EUROPOL in a joint investigation, have arrested 14 members of a criminal organisation involved in international drug trafficking. Allegedly, they transported large quantities of hashish from Spain to various countries of the European Union.
The police operation began in September 2021 when agents of the Organised Crime and Anti-drug Team of the Seville Guardia Civil and the Seville Customs Surveillance Operational Unit detected a group of individuals who were allegedly engaging in drug trafficking at an international level. The town of Écija (Seville) seemed to be the epicentre of their criminal activity.
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International drug trafficking
As the investigations progressed, the police were able to verify another branch of the organisation based in Malaga province. This being the one in charge of acquiring the narcotic substance in the town of Ayamonte (Huelva). Its nursery was in Malaga and subsequent transport was to Écija (Seville). At this point, the Seville branch would take charge of the narcotics, for preparation and transport to various European countries.
Then, in February of last year, it was possible to intercept, in the province of Granada, a first truck that carried 950 kilograms of hashish hidden among its legal cargo. The destination of this merchandise was France.
Once this took place, the members of the criminal gang increased the security measures, modifying their usual modus operandi.
Another truck intercepted
Later, in October, another seizure of 1,000 kilograms of hashish was carried out. This was hidden in the cargo of another truck that was intercepted in La Carolina (Jaén).
At this point, the Seville branch had a break due to the two above interventions. Therefore, the investigation focused on the Malaga branch. And in January of this year, police managed to intercept two vans loaded with hashish. One of them with around 600 kilograms, which was intercepted on the A-92 highway at Puebla de Cazalla (Seville). And the other, with just over 900 kilograms of hashish, was stopped in the town of Pizarra (Málaga).
Search and seized
Once all the members of the organisation were identified, the exploitation of the operation was then carried out on February 21. Sixteen house searches were authorised by the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 2 of Écija (Seville).
As a result of the searches carried out, more than €1.5 million in cash were seized. Part of this money, €1,085,000, was hidden in a vehicle, which one of the leaders of the organisation had rented, in the Seville town of Écija. That same morning the police detained a member of the organisation, when he was driving in Malaga. Ogre, a Guardia Civil police dog found a false bottom in the vehicle where €136,000 was hidden.
Likewise, the agents intervened, 3 firearms, two of them long and a pistol with a silencer, 14 vehicles, several of them high-end, as well as numerous documentation from the companies used to provide legal cover for the transport of drugs.
International drug trafficking organisation dismantled with 14 arrests
With this operation, this criminal organisation based in the area of Écija (Seville) and Málaga is considered dismantled, with the arrest of 14 of its members who are accused of crimes against public health, belonging to a criminal organisation and money laundering. The Judge responsible for the Instruction of the Operation decreed the imprisonment of 12 of its members.