Spanish authorities, with the support of Europol, have arrested 50 people involved in the trafficking of large quantities of hashish and cocaine to the European Union via the African route. The investigation lasted one year and resulted in the seizure of five tonnes of hashish and two tonnes of cocaine. The operation was a significant success in the fight against drug trafficking, as the criminal network was involved in a two-way supply chain that included the trafficking of hashish from Morocco to South America and cocaine back across the Atlantic and via the west coast of Africa before being transported to the Spanish mainland.
The criminal network involved in the trafficking was discovered to have established a multi-product trafficking scheme with a two-way supply chain. Initially, the investigators identified members of the organization as being involved in maritime drug trafficking throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The leaders of the organization were based in Huelva and the Gibraltar area, while other members were operating in Morocco, Portugal and the Canary Islands.
This investigation revealed a new development in drug trafficking: hashish-trafficking networks have established links with cocaine-trafficking organizations to diversify their drug portfolio and optimize their logistics in the drive for higher profits. This highlights the need for law enforcement agencies to stay vigilant and adapt their tactics to stay ahead of the evolving tactics of drug traffickers.
The success of this operation was made possible through the collaboration of law enforcement agencies from different countries. Europol played a critical role in the operation by facilitating the exchange of information and providing continuous analytical support to the investigation. Europol deployed experts to Spain to cross-check operational information in real-time and provide leads to officers in the field.
The equipment seized during the operation included boats, 350HP engines, almost 4,000 litres of gasoline, vehicles, trailers, jams detectors and beacons used for tracking shipments. This is a significant blow to the criminal network and will undoubtedly impact their ability to continue trafficking drugs through the African route.
Drug trafficking is a global problem, and this operation highlights the need for international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. Law enforcement agencies must continue to work together and adapt their tactics to stay ahead of drug traffickers, who are always looking for new ways to move drugs across borders.
In conclusion, the success of this operation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of law enforcement agencies and their commitment to protecting society from the harms of drug trafficking. This operation sends a strong message to drug traffickers that their criminal activities will not be tolerated, and they will face the full force of the law.