MIJAS – The Guardia Civil has arrested thirty people in Andalucia who camouflaged their drug trade as humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The drugs came from marijuana plantations across Andalucia.
The thirty people arrested in the context of Operation Marlin have Ukrainian, German, Spanish and Moroccan nationality. Furthermore, they camouflaged the narcotics in cardboard boxes as supplies and humanitarian aid destined for war-ravaged Ukraine with Russia.
Solidarity caravan as camouflaged aid for Ukraine
These boxes were transported in vans that appeared to be part of a solidarity caravan. In this way, the drug traffickers tried to remain undetected by the police and at border controls.
On Monday, the armed institute reported in a press release that investigators discovered the existence of a group of citizens of Ukrainian descent on the Costa del Sol dedicated to collecting large amounts of marijuana. They later sent these to various countries in Europe.
This group travelled to various points in Andalucia where, under strict security measures, they collected, transported and stored the already packaged marijuana in an apartment in Mijas (Málaga).
30 detenidos en Andalucía por traficar con marihuana camuflada como ayuda humanitaria al pueblo ucraniano
— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) December 5, 2022
During the investigation, the Guardia Civil in Fuengirola (Málaga) discovered two Ukraine-registered vans containing a total of 109 kilograms of vacuum-packed marijuana camouflaged in cardboard boxes. In this event, the Guardia Civil arrested the four occupants of these vehicles.
In the first phase of the investigation, the detectives carried out eleven house searches in the province of Malaga. In doing so, officers seized €740,400, $25,250, 20 kilograms of cannabis buds, 1,000 cannabis plants, a short firearm and all kinds of police equipment including bulletproof vests and GPS tracking devices.
During these house searches, eleven people were arrested for drug trafficking, membership in a criminal organisation, illegal possession of weapons and fraud with electricity, among other things.
Police officers attacked
Due to the size of the organisation, part of the operation was reserved for a second phase. Consequently, in this second phase, the Guardia Civil arrested fourteen suppliers of narcotics. They were located in the provinces of Granada, Córdoba and Seville. Moreover, the suspects attacked the officers during the arrest.
Two police officers slightly injured
During these eight house searches, the Guardia Civil seized 1,500 cannabis plants, ten kilograms of packaged cannabis, five firearms and €15,000 in cash. At the time, two of the suspects attempted to flee. However, in their attempt, they hit a police vehicle in which two officers were sitting. Both suffered minor injuries. Unable to escape, the suspects were eventually arrested and also charged with a crime against road safety and another with assault on law enforcement.