Sunday, June 13

The risks of drug trafficking | Spain

Two killed in a helicopter crash, one missing at sea, and two trucks intercepted with a ton of hashish in their cargo. It is the trail of bad luck that he has left for a drug trafficking organization now dismantled by the Civil Guard. They had organized a business network based on the Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar, in addition to Barcelona and Pontevedra, dedicated to transporting large quantities of hashish from Morocco to the Andalusian coast and, from there, distributing it hidden among legal goods to Europe in trucks . Now all the members have been arrested in the Naasdam-Libélula operation, which has included the seizure of two drug boats.

“It is bad luck, but also a consequence of the risk that drug traffickers run in their work,” say sources from the Civil Guard. In fact, it is common for these organizations to take advantage of days of storm surge or rain to move hashish from the Moroccan coast to Andalusia because on those days the police helicopter cannot pursue them. “But with bad seas you play it a lot,” insists an agent. This is what happened in the middle of last year to this group of drug traffickers, when they lost track of a boat 40 miles off the Granada coast with one of its members on board, “without any further news of their whereabouts.” , informs the Civil Guard. Also on those days, at the end of July 2020, two members of the criminal gang crashed their helicopter into a tree on an olive farm in Pedrera, in Seville. The aircraft did not have a flight plan, it was flying very low to avoid radars and both the pilot and the copilot – aged 30 and 42, one of Spanish nationality and the other Colombian – died on the spot.

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The Civil Guard was already tracking the organization several weeks before the accident and a few days after it had intervened in Salamanca a truck that hid 705 kilos of hashish hidden in a shipment of olive oil destined for France. The investigation revealed that they brought the drug from Morocco and introduced it in different parts of Andalusia by sea or air. “They were adapting to do the best business possible,” they say from the Civil Guard. In addition, they had a maintenance and refueling point for the crashed aircraft in the Malaga municipality of Casares, located in the mountains near the Costa del Sol halfway between Estepona and Sotogrande.

Civil Guard

The gang had a network of freight transport companies in different parts of the Iberian Peninsula – Malaga, Pontevedra and Barcelona – to distribute hidden hashish among legal merchandise. Initially, their headquarters were divided between the Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar, but faced with police pressure they decided to rebuild their ranks and move to Jerez de la Frontera. There, however, they had no better luck: Investigators intercepted another 330-kilo shipment of hashish in a truck.

Finally, the Civil Guard, gave the final blow by intervening two narcolanchas of 12 and 16 meters in length, both with 900 horsepower engines and “perfectly prepared for the transport of hashish.” They were hidden in industrial warehouses owned by the investigated companies and belonging to the criminal organization. In total, 11 people have been detained in an investigation directed by the Court of Instruction number 1 of Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo (Córdoba) and carried out by agents of the Team against Organized Crime of the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard of Málaga, the Coordination Body Against Drug Trafficking (OCON-SUR) and the Regional Center for Analysis and Intelligence against Drug Trafficking (CRAIN).

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