Spanish agents of the Civil Guard, National Police and officials of the Tax Agency have developed the operation “Fresa-M”, in which 5 people have been arrested as alleged members of a criminal organization dedicated to the trafficking of cocaine hidden inside pineapples and 16 kilos of cocaine intervened.
The agents intervened in the Port of Algeciras a shipment of 22 tons of pineapples from Costa Rica, where, after a careful inspection, 16 “pregnant” pineapples were found, which contained 8 kilos of cocaine. In August 2019, the Civil Guard began to investigate a company with headquarters in Madrid, but with activity from a warehouse in the town of Guarnizo (Cantabria), which was dedicated to the import and export of fruit pulp to Colombia . The investigation carried out by the Civil Guard and Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency on this company, revealed the mismatch of what was billed with the movements of goods, while the Civil Guard had suspicions of this company in transit of goods through the port From Valencia. Also in the ship the existence of fraud of electrical fluid was verified. During 2020, no commercial activity was found to the company, although they opened a business in the town of Comillas (Cantabria), suspecting the researchers that its use was to give the appearance of operation to the company and waiting to be able to carry out imports.
First test shipment through the port of Malaga
The businessman based in Cantabria, in July of last year made several trips to Barcelona, where he allegedly maintained contacts with the leadership of the criminal organization, preparing new drug deliveries. A short time later, a container full of pineapples from Costa Rica arrived at the port of Malaga, where no drugs were found, which led us to believe that it was a test shipment to verify the police action.
Guarded delivery in Toledo
They later carried out the intervened shipment of cocaine through the Port of Algeciras. This container with the pineapple boxes was destined for a warehouse in the town of Seseña (Toledo), and a “controlled delivery” of the same was organized by the bodies in charge of the investigation. In this operation, the presence at the destination of the cargo from the organization’s leadership was detected, leaving the area when the transport arrived at the ship. On March 17, the businessman settled in Cantabria and his partner were arrested. After his arrest, five searches were carried out in homes, premises and a warehouse in Madrid, Seseña and Alfoz de Lloredo, where the agents located documentation related to the investigation. At the same time, the researchers delivered the rest of the shipment of pineapples to the Madrid Food Bank for distribution to people in need. In later days, another person was detained in Cantabria, a man from Turkey, who had a direct relationship with Guarnizo’s ship.
Arrest of the leader and of the person in charge of locating the “pregnant” pineapples
Investigators found out that the head of the leadership had arrived in Spain from Colombia, at the same time as the pineapples with the drug. His arrest took place last April at the Adolfo Suarez Airport in Madrid when he was trying to leave Spain for Colombia again. Another member of the organization was located and detained last April in Getafe (Madrid), he was in charge of finding the pineapples “pregnant” with cocaine within the shipment. After his arrest, a search was made of his home in Getafe where documentation linking him to the plot was found. The investigation continues open, not ruling out new arrests.