Former head of Guardia Civil’s anti-drugs division in Andalucía is released by top judge while still facing charges
Lieutenant colonel David Oliva Moreno appeared before the Audiencia Nacional court on Wednesday in response to accusations of bribery and disclosing operational details
Melchor Sáiz-Pardo / Mateo Balín
Wednesday, 12 April 2023
The former head of the Guardia Civil’s anti-drugs division in Andalucía testified before Audiencia Nacional judge Alejandro Abascal on Wednesday.
The Guardia Civil lieutenant colonel, David Oliva Moreno, was head of the fight against drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar between 2018 and 2022. He is accused of bribery and disclosing operational details and will answer the accusations against him and other members of the Guardia Civil made in a complaint by a subordinate. This police officer, assigned to the Internal Affairs Service (SAI), has accused both the former head of the South Drug Trafficking Coordination Body (OCON) and other commanders of having pressured him to reveal details of an investigation that the SAI itself was carrying out into the alleged involvement of several officers stationed in Cadiz with drug trafficking networks. The whistleblower claims that he was even offered a post in OCON in exchange for tips on the movements of Internal Affairs.
SUR has also learnt, from investigators close to the case, that late last year the SAI was authorised to access the mobile phone of a colleague who was suspected of informing Oliva of the unit's investigations. It is understood that Oliva messaged the SAI officer on WhatsApp to discover if he is was being investigated for attending a party with drug traffickers.
The review of the phone of this SAI officer, who was also charged in this case and who testified some months ago, confirmed the suspicions. These conversations also incriminate a lieutenant who was then working in the OCON and who is currently stationed in Ceuta. This lieutenant was the second commander to testify on Wednesday in the case being investigated by Judge Abascal.
The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and the government delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, Joan Ramón Villalbí, decorated Oliva in 2021 with the Medal of Merit of the National Plan on Drugs. Oliva was a Guardia Civil commander until August 2022, when he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and transferred to Malaga.
Oliva Moreno was, until his departure to Malaga, the head of OCON-South. This unit, promoted by Marlaska in the face of a difficult situation in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar, came to be made up of 150 Civil Guard officers on secondment, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the fight against drug trafficking in Andalucía.
The abrupt dissolution of this group by the Ministry of the Interior at the end of last summer came as a surprise to everyone. The Ministry never gave any public explanation for the dismantling of OCON, which was said to have been producing results never before seen in the fight against drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The judge, who lifted the secrecy of the court proceedings, released all those accused but imposed monthly appearances as a precautionary measure.