Major drug trafficking operation thwarted on Huelva coast: 2.800 kilos of hashish seized from recreational boats

by Lorraine Williamson
drug trafficking operation

HUELVA – In a joint operation, the Guardia Civil, the National Police, and the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency have successfully disrupted a criminal organisation involved in drug trafficking.

The operation, codenamed “Ciprux-Obras,” unfolded as part of the Special Security Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar. This focuses on the coastal region of Huelva.

The criminal group, based in Huelva, was dedicated to transporting and smuggling substantial shipments of hashish from Morocco into Spain. For this, they utilised modified fishing and recreational boats. The organisation meticulously concealed their illicit activities by operating from various ports along the Huelva coastline.

The investigation revealed that the criminals maintained, guarded, and modified the boats in industrial warehouses. Furthermore, they incorporated hidden compartments or “caletas” in the hulls to conceal the narcotics. Once altered, the vessels operated seemingly innocently from different ports. Moreover, they engaged in fishing or recreational activities to present a lawful façade.

However, the authorities learned the group was planning a significant drug transport operation. This prompted the deployment of an extensive police operation around the main suspects and the identified boats. The operation resulted in the interception of two vessels. One was located at the mouth of the Guadiana River and the other docked at the Ayamonte marina.

Cogesa Expats

1,400 kilos of hash

The first boat, upon inspection, revealed a double bottom in the hull containing 40 bales of hessian fabric, concealing approximately 1,400 kilograms of hashish. The two crew members were promptly arrested. Subsequently, the second vessel, found in the Ayamonte marina, yielded a similar double bottom with an additional 40 bales of hashish, weighing 1.4 tons.

Following the successful interception, five more individuals were arrested, and seven residential properties in Ayamonte, Isla Cristina, and Aljaraque-Bellavista were searched, along with a nautical company, an industrial warehouse, and a storage unit. The operation led to the seizure of 17 vehicles, 11 recreational boats, two fishing vessels, two jet skis, over €54,000 in cash, four high-capacity engines, a dozen mobile phones, four GPS units, geolocation devices, four long firearms, two imitation firearms, three knives, 11,500 cartridges, 74 high-end watches, five computers, and computer equipment.

Consequently, the police investigation is ongoing, and additional arrests related to the dismantled criminal organisation are not ruled out.

Also read: Major cocaine bust in Algeciras

You may also like