ALGECIRAS – In the port city of Algeciras, the largest cocaine catch ever in Spain was made. The cocaine, totalling 9.5 tons, was remarkably marked with logos such as “Louis Vuitton”, “Tesla”, “Tag Heuer”, “Hitler” and swastikas.
The drugs were carefully hidden between 1080 crates of bananas in a refrigerated container. The so-called Operation Nano has so far not resulted in any arrests but revealed links to at least dozens of European criminal organisations. According to the Spanish police, these networks worked together to smuggle the drugs from Ecuador to Europe.
However, the discovery of 9,436 packages of drugs left authorities puzzled. The unique markings on the cocaine blocks serve as identification marks for the European criminal organiSations that would receive the shipment. In total, more than 30 different logos were discovered on the packages.
Alberto Morales, Superintendent of the National Police, explained that these markings suggest that multiple organisations invested in the same shipment. This reduces the risks, as investments are spread over different routes.
Banana trader as a cover
The cargo, from Machala, Ecuador, was originally shipped by a company believed to trade bananas internationally. However, there are strong suspicions that this company is just a front for large-scale drug smuggling. The organisation behind this shipment may be responsible for supplying some of the largest drug trafficking networks in Europe.
The investigation further revealed that the final destination of the drugs was not Spain, but another European country. “Such an amount of drugs is too large for a single country to absorb,” said the chief inspector.
🚩Histórica operación antidroga en el Puerto de #Algeciras
🔵El mayor alijo de #cocaína intervenido nunca en España
— Policía Nacional (@policia) August 25, 2023
This seizure breaks the previous record of nearly 9 tons of cocaine, also found in Algeciras in 2018, hidden in a container of bananas from Colombia.
The investigation continues and the police hope to eventually identify and arrest the key figures behind this large-scale operation.