Twelve people have been arrested, after more than a year of investigation, and 2,065 kilograms of cocaine have been seized
The dismantled group had created a network of drug traffickers who simulated a legal business fabric to introduce large amounts of narcotic substances into Spain
The operation has been developed in the provinces of Cádiz, Cuenca, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Seville, Tarragona and Valencia
Joint operation of the Civil Guard, the National Police and the Tax Agency
Agents from the Civil Guard, the National Police and the Tax Agency have disbanded a criminal organization dedicated to large-scale international cocaine trafficking. 2,065 kilograms of cocaine have been apprehended and 12 people have been arrested, allegedly accused of bringing notorious amounts of cocaine into Spain.
The operation has been carried out in the provinces of Cádiz, Cuenca, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Seville, Tarragona and Valencia.
The investigations began in early 2020 on a nucleus of individuals settled in the provinces of Murcia and Seville, leading to the identification of a criminal organization whose purpose was to create a legal-looking business fabric, importing charcoal between South America and Europe to be able to introduce, undetected, large quantities of cocaine into Spain through the main Spanish ports.
With this objective, the organization began its activity through the Port of Barcelona, arriving to introduce dozens of containers of the referred coal.
Once the containers arrived in Barcelona, they were transferred to a warehouse that the organization had rented in Tarragona, so that later, some of those investigated would be in charge of unloading the narcotic substance.
After several months, as a consequence of the limitations derived from the coronavirus pandemic and in order to make customs control more difficult, those investigated were forced to close said entry route, having to generate all the infrastructure and logistics again in the Port of Algeciras since mid-April.
From Brazil and Paraguay the importation of cocaine was managed
During the following months, all the components of the criminal structure were fully identified, being led by two families whose main members were in Brazil and Paraguay, from where they gestated the entire operation of the importation of cocaine.
The next step was made up of individuals who created companies with the intention of simulating a traffic of legal merchandise with products such as coal, rice, molasses or sanitary products, in high demand in the current sanitary crisis.
The latter were settled in Seville and operated in the towns of Marbella, Algeciras, Cádiz and the Andalusian capital itself. The leaders of the organization included figureheads in all the companies in order to conceal their true identity and obtain abundant benefits after the introduction of the merchandise.
The link between the top of the organization and the business branch was consolidated in Valencia with an expert in money laundering who channeled the organization’s money to capitalize on the drug trafficking operation, diversifying its methods of action and concealment with the use of cryptocurrencies.
This person was a guarantee of success, since many mafias from Eastern European and South American countries resorted to his services due to the ease of hiding the money originated from drug, arms or human trafficking, and giving him an outlet to continue financing organized crime at the highest level.
Due to the high specialization of the organization, it was necessary the intervention of more than one hundred telephone lines by the agents, as well as numerous surveillance and monitoring by numerous Spanish provinces. It was also necessary to analyze almost 200 containers imported from the ports of Brazil and Paraguay to Spain.
40 tons of coal served to hide the drug
As the organization had the capacity to operate in the ports of Barcelona and Algeciras, it was very difficult to adopt any measure on imports due to the danger of frustrating the investigation and being discovered. Thus, after an exhaustive analysis, one of the containers that the organization had imported from Paraguay to the Port of Algeciras was opened, finding inside a total of 63 bales that transported 2,065 kilograms of cocaine, which were found hidden among 40 tons of coal, with the clear intention of making it difficult to locate.
Finally, a total of 16 searches were carried out in homes, professional offices and establishments, proceeding to the arrest of twelve people and the investigation of another three, having also issued international arrest warrants for the now accused, and that They are pending to respond to the competent judicial authority.