Spanish Civil Guard dismantles a network that had created a pioneering drug concealment system to transport it to any point in Europe

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the “OTILIOS” operation, has dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the cultivation, production and transport of narcotic substances internationally. 

21 people have been arrested, 11 in Madrid, 2 in Toledo and 8 in Segovia, as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, cultivation and production of marijuana, drug trafficking and fraud of electricity.

The investigation began when the agents detected a possible point of distribution and sale of drugs, especially cocaine and hashish, in leisure areas of Segovia and nearby towns. Continuing with the investigations, the Civil Guard identified several people in Segovia, who could be responsible for the sale of said substances, these being related to an important criminal organization based in the province of Madrid.

Subsequently, the agents detected that all of them formed a perfectly structured and organized organization that intended to create a drug distribution network, especially marijuana and hashish, at an international level, giving it a legal appearance through the constitution of a merchandise transport company with Heavy vehicles.

In the first phase, those investigated were intercepted on a trip they made in a van, in the municipality of Arcos de Jalón (SO), 40 kilograms of marijuana and 10 of hashish.

Likewise, days before the organization intended to make the first international trip to transport the drug, the agents located the warehouse where they kept the heavy vehicle, finding inside two of the organization’s members (among whom was the driver of the truck that would make the trip), who were finalizing the last details of the trip and were placing the drug containers inside the concealment system, for which both were arrested.

Pioneering concealment system

It should be noted that a large number of high-value industrial tools were found inside the warehouse that had been used for the manufacture of the trailer cove. This manufactured system has been of great importance since it is a pioneering system in Spain to hide illegal substances, whose characteristics would seriously hinder their discovery.

The concealment system was located on the roof of a refrigerated trailer, on the outside, where they took advantage of the space occupied by the insulating material to deposit the drug packages, dividing the entire roof of the trailer with metal plates that could be raised by means of a system. hydraulic actuated by a hidden control. In this way, even if the truck box was opened, it was impossible to find the drug and they prevented it from giving off any kind of odor.

Likewise, the organization had established a freight transport company, offering its services to companies that exported legal merchandise to the country where the buyers of the illegal substance were located. To do this, they carried out several test trips in order to verify that they were not under police surveillance and that the concealment method was working in order to ensure that they had a “safe route”.

At the same time that the intervention took place in the warehouse where the truck was located, numerous entries and searches were made in the homes and storage rooms of the rest of the members of the organization, adding a total of 15 searches in buildings in Madrid, 3 in Segovia and 1 in Toledo.

Marijuana plantations

During the searches, numerous large marijuana plantations were found that had an elaborate and expensive cultivation system, which was illegally connected to the electricity grid, using professional transformers, leading to defrauding 300,000 euros.

The most relevant plantations were found on a farm located in an urbanization in the town of Guadarrama and in a villa located in the Arturo Soria neighborhood of Madrid capital. The first one had large surfaces equipped as a plant dryer, heat pumps, several centrifuges and its own generator set. The second was a multi-storey chalet, of which 2 of them were used as plantations, with very advanced technology and a complex system to avoid detection. Both buildings were being conditioned to increase production.

Packaging logistics center

Likewise, the organization had set up a packaging logistics center in one of the homes, where they transported the drug to later package it for the international trip.

The organization had the capacity to harvest more than 45,000 marijuana plants a year and distribute it to different countries in Europe, making several international trips every month. All of this would have meant the distribution of more than 1,500 kilograms of marijuana abroad per year.

In addition to marijuana and hashish, other substances such as 500 grams of cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD pills have been intervened. Likewise, a firearm, 1 truck with a sophisticated hydraulic system (cove) for hiding drugs, prohibited knives, numerous mobile phones, computer materials and more than 100,000 euros in cash have been intervened.

The operation has been coordinated by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of Segovia, requiring the collaboration of other Units in the province of Madrid and Toledo, as well as the Air Service of the Civil Guard. Due to its international connections, it also collaborated with the Swiss authorities.