NewsEuropol and Spanish police dismantle major cocaine smuggling ring

Europol and Spanish police dismantle major cocaine smuggling ring

Europol confiscated eight tonnes of cocaine
Europol confiscated eight tonnes of cocaine
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15 June 2024 17:13

The Spanish Guardia Civil, in cooperation with Europol, has apprehended cocaine smugglers. The criminals were transporting drugs from South America to Europe via the Canary Islands and West Africa. In total, the authorities seized eight tonnes of cocaine and several million euros.

Drug smugglers always find a way to transport illegal substances to their customers. Unfortunately for them, there are authorities worldwide whose primary goal is to stop the trade and apprehend those committing crimes. Often, officers from different countries join forces to dismantle smuggling networks collectively.

Europol and Spanish authorities apprehend smugglers

On 13 June 2024, Europol announced the significant success of the authorities. Together with the Guardia Civil, they apprehended smugglers who were transporting cocaine from Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador to the European Union. The drugs reached the union through West Africa and the Canary Islands. Once on the European continent, the cocaine was dispatched to processing centres in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, and Spain, from where it was distributed to all EU countries.

The leaders of the criminal organisation were operating from Turkey and Dubai. They were believed to originate from the Balkans. The operation is connected to an arrest made in August 2023, when Spanish Guardia Civil officers detained a ship carrying 700 kilograms of cocaine. After analyzing the data regarding the boat's crew, it turned out that the criminals had previously smuggled approximately 500 kilograms of cocaine from Brazil to Spain using the same ship.

Four-year investigation ends successfully

The international investigation began in September 2020 and lasted nearly four years. During this period, authorities managed to apprehend 40 individuals and confiscate eight tonnes of cocaine, as well as seize £10.5 million in cash in various European countries and £2.4 million in Brazil. They also froze £42 million in Serbia. A Balkan cartel led the smuggling operation. The courts will decide the fate of the smugglers.

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