The Guardia Civil has dismantled a network in the south of Spain that allegedly trafficked hashish and marijuana and also supplied other criminal gangs with fuel, food and crews for drug-running boats.
More than 100 people have been arrested in Operation Mopa and 5,040 kilogrammes of hashish and 230 kilogrammes of marijuana buds have been seized. In addition five vehicles - including two lorries, an electric shock weapon, a dummy rifle, navigation, computer and communication equipment, and documentation have been seized.
The investigation began when it was discovered that a criminal organisation was launching boats on the Guadalquivir river.
Officers found the gang were launching the boats between the Seville province towns of Isla Mayor and Puebla del Río, in a marsh area and therefore difficult to access from land.
Several boats were found hidden in industrial estates on the outskirts of Seville, while repair and maintenance work was carried out on the craft.
One branch of the network was allegedly dedicated to supplying fuel to the powerful, semi-rigid drug-running craft - that often have three or four engines and guzzle a lot of fuel - off the south coast of Andalucía. This section of the gang used small recreational boats that left from the ports of La Atunara and Sotogrande (both in Cadiz province) and La Duquesa (Malaga) to supply fuel, food and, if necessary, make crew changes on the drug route to Morocco.
During the extensive police operation, the officers seized 1,170 kg of hashish in Matalascañas (Huelva), 3,240 kg in Adra (Almeria) and 330 kg in La Línea (Cádiz).
Another branch, of the same organisation, allegedly transported the drugs that were brought to the Spanish mainland to Europe. For this they used vehicles that were stored on an industrial estate in the Sevillian town of Dos Hermanas. The drugs were usually hidden among fruit.
As a result of the investigations, and with the support of French customs officers, 105 kg of drugs were seized from a vehicle in Dax. In Spain two more vehicles were intercepted: one in Badajoz where 300 kg of hashish were seized and 125 kg of marijuana were seized in Irún (Guipúzcoa).