More than 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized hidden in three sea containers from South America
Joint operation by the Tax Agency, the National Police, the Colombian National Police, the American HSI and the Ecuadorian authorities.
- The investigation has led to the complete dismantling of an international criminal organisation dedicated to cocaine trafficking and the arrest of its seven members.
- In the first shipment, which arrived at the port of Barcelona, the drugs were found in a container carrying sacks of ceramic glue;Only a month later, a second shipment was made, this time to the port of Valencia, with the narcotic substance hidden in the bottom of a container of bananas.
- As a result of the searches, more than 80,000 euros in cash, three vehicles and nine mobile phones, some of them with encrypted communications, were seized.
25 May 2023.- Customs Surveillance officials from the Tax Agency, in a joint operation with agents from the National Police, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate of the Colombian National Police, the American Homeland Security Investigations and the authorities of Ecuador, have seized more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine hidden in three maritime containers coming from South America.The investigation led to the complete dismantling of an international criminal organisation dedicated to cocaine trafficking and the arrest of its seven members.
In the first shipment, which arrived at the port of Barcelona, the drugs were found in a container carrying sacks of ceramic glue.Just one month later, a second shipment was made, this time to the port of Valencia, with the narcotic substance hidden in the bottom of a container of bananas.As a result of the searches, more than 80,000 euros in cash, three vehicles and nine mobile phones, some of them with encrypted communications, were seized.
The investigation was initiated earlier this year through the channels of international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.
From the outset, the investigations focused on an international criminal organisation allegedly dedicated to smuggling sea containers contaminated with cocaine through the ports of Barcelona and Valencia.
Business network for the reception of cargoes
After several police investigations, the investigators identified a business network created by the organisation for the reception of cocaine shipments in Spain, focusing their activity on the main company based in Valencia.
At the end of January, investigators detected a first shipment of three containers from the port of Cartagena (Colombia) to the port of Barcelona, declaring bags of ceramic glue as legal merchandise.After inspection, 1,003 packages of cocaine with a gross weight of 1,124 kilos were intercepted among the goods in one of the containers.As a result of this intervention, the criminal network changed the company to which the batches of containers in which it hid the narcotic substance were destined, with the aim of masking the arrival of a new consignment of drugs.
In mid-March, while the agents accredited numerous meetings and gatherings of the members of the organisation in charge of receiving the drugs, two new containers arrived in the port of Valencia from Guayaquil (Ecuador).
Finally, the investigators noticed that the containers were moved to a warehouse - the headquarters of the company controlled by the network - and observed some of its members manipulating the base of one of the containers and removing numerous packages from inside the structure.
This precipitated the arrest of five persons and, after a thorough inspection of the two containers, the seizure of 130 packages of cocaine with a gross weight of 143 kilos.In addition, several vehicles were located in the warehouse, one of which had a hidden compartment in the rear area of the passenger compartment for transporting the narcotic substance.
The agents carried out two searches, intercepting 80,000 euros in cash and nine mobile phones, some of them with encrypted communications, at the home of the main leader of the scheme.
As the investigations progressed, a new line of investigation was opened into the persons behind the importation of the goods, who were in charge of the expenses and documentary formalities.Thus, at the end of March, a sixth person was arrested, who was responsible for the other company in the criminal network, and to whom the reception of the first container in which more than a tonne of cocaine was found had been diverted.
Finally, in mid-April, investigators arrested another member of the organisation in charge of procuring and facilitating the vehicle used to transport and distribute the drugs, completely dismantling the organisation.
Film of the operation (go to the following website to download the video):