The Spanish Civil Guard, in collaboration with AUSTRAL-COLES with the Belgian Federal Police and the Dutch Police, within the framework of the operation, proceeded to locate and arrest two heads of a criminal organization that trafficked cocaine on a large scale, using the use of cargo containers by sea.
The organization made up of Belgian and Dutch citizens acquired the drug in Brazil and later transported it to ports in Belgium and the Netherlands, by concealing it among the legal cargo of large-tonnage merchandise containers.
The operation began in 2020, when the Belgian Federal Police and the Dutch Police opened a joint investigation into an organization responsible for large shipments of cocaine:
- The first of them, weighing 556 kg, was seized in Brazil on 05-13-2020, hidden in a legal cargo of soy flour.
- In the Port of Antwerp (Belgium) on 01-26-2021, hidden in a legal cargo of coffee beans, 2,300 kilograms were seized.
- Finally, two other shipments, of 586 kg and 409 kg, respectively, were seized in the Port of Rotterdam on 04-10-2020.
The recipients of the drug were a Belgian and two Dutch companies. As a result of the investigations, it was possible to identify two of the organizers of said shipments who could have their residence on the Costa del Sol, for which the European police requested the collaboration of the Civil Guard to proceed with the location of these people.
As a result of the investigation initiated in Spain, it was possible to discover the presence of one of the members of the organization in our country, in various points of the national geography throughout the last year, which denoted the mobility of said person and the security measures he was taking to avoid locating his whereabouts.
Continuing with the investigations, the agents located this person in a luxury home in an exclusive urbanization in Marbella, for which he was arrested. Subsequently, the Civil Guard managed to locate and arrest the other ringleader who had fled from the Belgian authorities, in another luxury home in the town of Marbella.
Once the two escaped leaders were located in Spain and the rest of the members of the organization in Belgium and the Netherlands were identified, through cooperation with those countries and through the issuance of European Investigation and Arrest Warrants, the entry into and a search of two addresses in the province of Malaga, while at the same time the Belgian and Dutch police authorities carried out another 7 searches simultaneously in those countries.
In total, 9 people have been arrested, including the two leaders of the organization.
Finally, in the operation it has been possible to seize more than 2.8 tons of cocaine, 3 high-end vehicles, numerous mobile terminals with relevant information, memory devices of interest for the investigation and abundant documentation for analysis.