The Colombian police warned of the arrival of a shipment containing cocaine. / sur

750 kilos of cocaine hidden in a pineapple shipping container seized in Alhaurín

Police arrested five people, including the leaders of three organisations involved

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / JUAN CANO

A haul of 750 kilos of cocaine has been found hidden in a shipment of pineapples in a warehouse in Alhaurín de la Torre, as a result of a joint operation carried out by the National Police and the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Office.

The investigation began last July, when they received warning from various international institutions, including the Colombian police of the arrival of a shipment of coconut substrate, among which cocaine was allegedly hidden.

Investigations revealed that the dealers were using a complex logistical network, with various points for the introduction and distribution of goods. They also discovered that the importing company in Spain, as well as the individuals associated with it, had a long history with drug trafficking.

The shipment arrived in Spain at the end of July, although it wasn't transported to the Alhaurín de la Torre warehouse until 20 days later. Outside the warehouse, there were signs displaying information about a fictitious company, serving as a cover-up.

These movements continued throughout August, allowing officers to observe how the coconut substrate was disposed of in a landfill site in the Murcia town of Molina de Segura.

This same operation was repeated in September, although the shipment was transported directly from Malaga Port to Murcia. Officers realised that the dealers were testing out a route, along which narcotic substances would later be transported.

Arrest in Alhaurín

Surveillance of the Alhaurín de la Torre warehouse enabled the officers to intervene in early November, discovering 638 bags of cocaine hydrochloride, weighing 747.6 kilos, hidden among a shipment of pineapples.

They arrested a man who was found extracting the packets from the pineapples, as well as the lorry driver who had transported the shipment to the warehouse. However, a third individual managed to get away and is currently wanted for arrest.

In a second phase of the operation, the directors and managers of the key organisations orchestrating the shipments of cocaine to Spain were also arrested. An international arrest warrant has also been released for a third individual believed to be in involved.

According to the National Police, the investigation has enabled a deeper understanding of who was profiting from this illegal activity. Further searches were carried out in the Valencia region, leading to the seizing of over 35,000 euros in cash. Officers also uncovered various documents, which could reveal the organisation's other criminal activities, such as money laundering.

So far five people have been arrested - two Spanish citizens, two Italians and one Romanian - but further arrests have not been ruled out.