MADRID – The police in the southern Spanish region of ‘Campo de Gibraltar’ has many years of intensive experience with drug gangs and the various ways in which criminals want to keep their merchandise, and themselves, out of the hands of the police. However, the underwater drug transport without the need for people was a new one!
A few weeks ago, agents, in collaboration with French colleagues, arrested a father and a son in Castellar de la Frontera (Cádiz). They made devices for a drug gang that is active in the Strait of Gibraltar. The gang were then able to transport drugs from Morocco to Spain and from there, throughout Europe.
Underwater transport of drugs without the need for people
Father and son manufactured underwater drones and other devices that the drug organisation could use to transport their illegal trade. The six intercepted underwater drones have a capacity of 150 to 200 kilograms of cargo. It was the first time that the police had come into contact with this type of device, used to transport drugs without the need for people.
In the end, eight people of, among others, Spanish, Danish and Moroccan nationality, spread over the provinces of Cádiz, Málaga, and Barcelona, were found to be involved in this trade. All detainees are charged with drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organisation.
During the arrests and actions in the context of the operation, the police seized;
- 145 kilos of hashish
- 8 kilos of marijuana
- €157,000 in cash
- 10 vehicles
- 6 large underwater drones with 12 engines and a range of 30 kilometres
The suspects built the drones themselves on behalf of all kinds of criminal organisations, both national and international. In addition, they prepared other types of transport. The underwater drones were manufactured in industrial warehouses in Castellar de la Frontera (Cádiz). In this municipality, the dismantling of the network began with the arrest of the father and son.
During the operation, Moroccan and Danish citizens were identified sending significant quantities of hashish from southern Spain to northern Europe. The organisations are known as ‘Mocro-mafia’.
The investigations started 14 months ago when the logistics network spread over much of Europe became known. Customers have even been detected in Italy, France, and Denmark, in addition to relations with gangs already established in Campo de Gibraltar or Costa del Sol.
The operation has already been completed, although the documentation is still being analysed. Furthermore, six of the eight detainees are already in pre-trial detention
In July last year, police in Málaga seized a huge, immaculate white drone with a wingspan of 4.5 metres. This giant drone was seized by a French drug organisation. Members of these planned to settle on the Costa del Sol. The criminals used the drone to transport drugs from Morocco to the small village of Almáchar (less than 2,000 inhabitants) in the province of Málaga.
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