Monday, 7 August 2023, 14:43
Police have taken down a criminal organisation based on the Costa del Sol and Tenerife that transported drugs to other European countries.
National Police officers arrested 23 alleged members of the gang in Malaga, Granada, Murcia, Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands. Ten houses in Malaga, Tenerife and the Netherlands were also raided and officers seized 440,000 euros, 323 kilos of marijuana, 71 kilos of hashish, 300 grams of cocaine, 2 kilos of MMDA, four firearms, 19 vehicles and computer parts.
The gang hid drugs and weapons among different types of merchandise such as polyurethane inside vehicles. They also used international logistics companies to ship across pallets with various types of goods, in which they hid drugs.
The police investigation started in October 2021 when the gang was preparing to transport a large quantity of cocaine in shipping containers. They were also transporting smaller shipments of hashish and marijuana from Spain to Northern European countries at the time. Six of the drug shipments the detainees had attempted to carry out were intercepted by police.
According to ongoing investigations, in April 2022, a shipment of 35 kilogrammes of hashish was detected in Norway in a marked vehicle coming from Malaga.
In May of the same year, a lorry with 128 kilos of marijuana and 36 kilos of hashish was intercepted in Granada, bound for Germany. In 2023, three shipments that the organisation intended to transport were intercepted, 45 kilos of marijuana in Murcia, 33 and 54 kilos of marijuana in Ireland and 63 kilos of marijuana in Granada. The drugs were bound for the Dutch city of Norrd-Sharwoude.
Police discovered that the gang had invested 200,000 euros in installing an encrypted communications server. The mastermind behind the network was a member of the gang who had a degree in engineering. Police seized more than 80 encrypted telephones and 150 telephone cards.
The investigation was carried out by officers from the Spanish National Police and the Dutch police via EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats). Through this framework, European Union member states, agencies and other EU partners work together to take down major criminal threats through joint operations.
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