Major drug bust: Spanish police and tax agency dismantle criminal group operating massive hashish nursery

by Lorraine Williamson
hashish nursery

CADIZ – In a joint operation between the Policia Nacional and the Tax Agency (la Agencia Tributaria), codenamed “Operación Lustre Paniagua,” a criminal group operating a significant hashish “nursery” in the town of Rota, Cádiz, has been successfully dismantled.

The operation resulted in the arrest of nine individuals. Furthermore, the authorities seized the following;

  • four tons of hashish
  • three submachine guns
  • off-road vehicles equipped with trailers designed for transporting the illicit cargo

Operation Lustre Paniagua

This recent crackdown marks the second phase of an ongoing investigation initiated in October of the last year, during which police seized 4,500 kilograms of the same substance. The initial phase of the operation involved a dramatic shootout.

The criminal group had been using Rota as a base for their illegal activities, managing a sizable stash of 4,000 kilograms of hashish in what authorities describe as a “nursery.” The term “nursery” suggests an elaborate setup for the production, storage, and distribution of illicit substances.

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Last year´s sucessful operation

Following the successful dismantling of a portion of the criminal organisation last year in Lebrija, where police seized 4,500 kilograms of hashish hidden in an industrial warehouse, investigators discovered that the remaining network was still operational. However, the criminals, aware of police scrutiny, took extensive measures, both personal and electronic, to avoid detection.

Hashish nursery raid

Undeterred by these challenges, the police meticulously planned a complex operation, culminating in a raid on the premises used as a storage facility. The execution of the operation required the collaboration of the Special Security Operational Groups of the National Police (GOES). During the raid, all nine members of the criminal structure were apprehended, and a substantial amount of evidence was confiscated, including the intended four tons of hashish, three assault rifles with ammunition, and the all-terrain vehicles equipped with trailers used for transporting the illegal merchandise.

After being brought before the judicial authorities, all nine individuals were remanded in provisional custody.

Also read: Four Brits arrested suspected of hashish and ecstasy trafficking

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