UK-bound £23m cocaine haul among biggest seized by officers

Spanish police have dismantled “one of the most active” drug trafficking gangs in Europe – operating between the UK and Spain.

Nov 15, 2017

Spanish police have dismantled “one of the most active” drug trafficking gangs in Europe – operating between the UK and Spain. The haul of cocaine, totalling 1.2 tonnes, is among the biggest ever seized by officers on Spanish soil, the Policia Nacional said on Wednesday (November 15) Five suspects – three Britons and two Spanish citizens – were arrested more than 500 miles apart in the provinces of Granada and Guipúzcoa. The network reportedly brought large quantities of cocaine into northern Spain, then later transported it to the south where a “business infrastructure” was in place to use as a cover for transporting the drugs by either sending it in small quantities to Britain or to other criminal organisations on the Spanish mainland. Professional truck drivers hid the drugs among their legal cargo and stuck to standard routes to avoid attracting attention. Officers noticed that a British driver had increased security while running a route towards the UK. When the driver stopped in Granada to unload the drugs, along with the help of two other members of the organisation, officers made their arrests. They found 483 parcels containing a total of 531 kilograms of cocaine in the vehicle. Three further members of the ring were later arrested in Zarautz, where officers with the assistance of an excavator unearthed 678 kilos of the drug buried by the organisation. Investigators also discovered an abandoned building at the same location being used to grow marijuana. Authorities have not put an estimated value on the drugs but in Colombia a record 12 tonnes of cocaine seized earlier this month was valued at £275 million, meaning the Spanish drug haul could be worth more than £23 million on the streets.

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