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Part of the seized money.
International drug trafficking network based in Malaga and Seville is busted

International drug trafficking network based in Malaga and Seville is busted

CRIME ·

The 14 members of the organisation, which transported large quantities of hashish from Spain to various European Union countries, have been arrested

SUR

Thursday, 16 March 2023, 07:50

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A joint investigation of the customs surveillance unit of Spain's tax ggency and the Guardia Civil, with the collaboration of Europol, has arrested 14 members of a criminal organisation that transported large quantities of hashish from Spain to several European Union countries. With these arrests, authorities say this international network based in Malaga and Ecija, Seville, has been dismantled.

The police operation began in September 2021 when officers detected a group of individuals engaged in drug trafficking at an international level from their base in Seville.

As the investigations progressed, officers realised there was another branch of the organisation based in Malaga province. This was allegedly in charge of acquiring the drugs in the town of Ayamonte, Huelva, which were then stored in a 'nursery' in Malaga before being moved to Ecija for their preparation and subsequent transport to various European countries.

In February 2022, a first lorry was intercepted in Granada province, bound for France, carrying 950 kilos of hashish hidden in its legal load. Subsequently, in October of the same year, another seizure was made of 1,000 kilos of hashish hidden in the load of another lorry intercepted in La Carolina, Jaén.

According to the Guardia Civil sixteen house searches were carried out and more than one and a half million euros in cash was seized in the operation. Part of this stash, some 1,085,000 euros, was found hidden in a vehicle rented by one of the ringleaders of the organisation in Ecija. That same morning, officers arrested a member of the gang while he was driving in Malaga. A false bottom was found in his vehicle, inside which 136,000 euros were found.

The officers also seized three firearms, and 14 vehicles, several of them top-of-the-range, as well as numerous documents from the companies used to provide legal cover for transporting the drugs.

Those arrested are charged with crimes against public health, membership of a criminal organisation and money laundering. The Ecija judge in charge of investigating the operation has ordered the imprisonment of twelve of its members.

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