The strong smell of marijuana that emanated from a luxury villa located in Altea (Alicante) was the thread that the Civil Guard pulled until it dismantled a criminal gang of bikers dedicated to the cultivation and trafficking of drugs. The ten detainees used plantations located in the basements of their homes and, after five months of monitoring by the agents, they were arrested on February 23 as part of Operation Sioux, as it transpired on Tuesday. They were all part of Satudarah, an organization outlawed in the Netherlands, their country of origin.
The investigations that have led to the arrest and dismantling of the gang began in November, when a Citizen Security patrol detected a strong smell of marijuana that came from a luxury villa in Altea. The notice went to the local post and the first investigations led to connecting the owners of the chalet with other residents of the Netherlands, Serbia and Latvia in the towns of Vila Joiosa, l’Alfàs del Pi and La Nucia. Their link was an international motorcycle club, Satudarah.
This relationship with the gang alerted the investigators, who obtained support from the Information group of the Alicante Command. Satudarah is a biker band founded in Moordrecht (Holland) in the 1990s, which claims to be part of what these types of clubs call the one percent. Satudarah, like the Hells Angels, the Bandits or the No Surrender, pride themselves on living outside the law and identify themselves with a rhombus stitched on their leather garments. Since 2017, the members of the gang have been falling into the hands of the Dutch police, accused of assaults, homicides, drug trafficking or illegal possession of weapons. They were considered extremely violent until they were finally outlawed and dismantled in 2018.
As of 2017, the sources consulted continue, those now detained began to disembark on the north coast of Alicante. Part of its members choose to settle in the Marina Baixa region, one of the largest tourist attractions in Spain. “They live in luxury,” says the Civil Guard, “they pay 2,000 euros a month in rents, they have good cars” and, above all, “they drive top-of-the-range motorcycles.” Among them, “Harley Davidson of 30,000 euros or Hondas of 25,000”, specify the sources. The agents also verified that these expenses occurred “despite not being employed in any legal work activity.”
The investigations continued with the tracking of the suspects, which led to at least three other plantations. With all the fringes of the operation closed, on February 23, the ten alleged drug traffickers, three women and seven men, were arrested in seven different homes. The agents waited in the respective residences for the alleged criminals to go out into the street, where they were arrested. As evidenced by the smell of marijuana that aroused the suspicions of the initial patrol, the chalets had large basements in which they installed cannabis plantations, a form of cultivation that guarantees “three or four harvests a year.” In all cases, the electrical installation necessary to care for the plants was illegally hooked up to the main network. The agents calculate that they had used up to 50,000 euros in illegal electricity supply.
After the searches, the Armed Institute intervened 7,371 marijuana plants, 31 kilos of buds and five kilos of the chopped and vacuum-packed drug for sale. In addition, the civil guards found a drone, a frequency jammer, a replicated weapon, 5,000 euros, six motorcycles and seven passenger cars, among other effects, the sources refer. The detainees, considered by the investigation members of a perfectly constituted and organized criminal organization in which “very important amounts of money” were handled.
All those arrested went to court and are accused of belonging to a criminal organization, drug trafficking and fraud of electricity. Two of them have been released and the remaining eight have entered prison.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.