A route by sea of few kilometers that allows large amounts of drugs to pass at once. It was a matter of time before the gangs that control transport logistics in the Strait of Gibraltar replaced cocaine with hashish, which gives many more benefits. The Civil Guard was suspicious of some attempts, but it has not been until now when it has obtained the certainties of this diversification from the drug traffickers in southern Spain: 1,255 kilos of cocaine from Colombia that crossed into Europe aboard powerful vessels. In the operation, 51 people were arrested, including the leaders of a powerful and dangerous gang of Dutch drug traffickers of Moroccan origin and two historical Spanish drug traffickers, experienced in the smuggling of hashish and tobacco under the protection of the Guadalquivir marshes, who were in charge of transport.
Sources of the OCON South, the operational command of the armed institute to fight drug traffickers in the Strait, explain that this move to cocaine was a recurring suspicion in recent times. Until now, the usual method of entry of coca into our country was through the port of Algeciras, camouflaged in small bales of 30 or 50 kilos inside containers from the other side of the Atlantic. But the most ambitious gangs were waiting to make the leap, since a kilo of coca reaches about 34,000 euros on the market, compared to 2,000 that the same amount of hashish can mean. And the narcolanchas allow to pass hundreds of kilos in a single trip. You just had to do the math, take the risk, and contact trusted people to take advantage of your transportation experience.
That was what a dangerous drug gang with ramifications did in Holland and Morocco, they explain from the Civil Guard. The operation began last September in Lebrija, a municipality on the banks of the Guadalquivir full of small industrial buildings with direct entry to the river. This detail has made it in recent years the hiding place of many narco-boats and caches due to the ease of evading police surveillance once they ascend the river channel. "It is a site of easy control for them, but not so much for us," the researchers acknowledge. The agents detected that these powerful boats, prohibited by law, could be being launched and a surveillance device allows them to discover how semi-trailers that could hide the narco-boats depart from one of the ships.
The investigation of these trailers takes the agents to a beach in Malaga, where they manage to thwart a stash of 400 kilos of hashish, and also to Huelva, where in mid-November a first shipment is detected by the mouth of Guadalquivir. But something strange to the narcos and they prefer not to take risks, reason why they give the return. The next day, they try a few kilometers from there, on Isla Cristina, almost on the border with Portugal, and the agents already intercept the drug. The surprise, however, jumps when what they discover inside the boat is 1,255 kilos of high-purity cocaine in bales identified with the same logos of hashish seized in Malaga.
The operation piqued the interest of Morocco's police forces, who join the investigation. The agents are thus able to reconstruct the cache route. Coca, coming from Colombia, entered Morocco through a freighter in the port of Casablanca. From there she was transferred to a "nursery" between this town and Rabat, and later transported by vehicle to the coast to embark for Spain. Sources in the case attribute the police pressure in the Narrow the one that opted for a longer route, towards the Huelva coast, turned into one of the new drug trafficking hot spots.
Already in January, the Moroccan gendarmerie detained a dozen members of the gang, although one of the ringleaders managed to flee to Abu Dhabi, being arrested shortly afterwards under an international arrest warrant. Already in March, the Civil Guard dismantled the Spanish part of the plot, from those responsible for the transport network to its collaborators. The Civil Guard indicates that they were two known historical contraband in the area, one resident in The Raven (Seville) and another in Trebujena (Cádiz), who tried to go unnoticed by leading an austere life from the outside. In fact, the agents surprise one of the teams on the last farm about to leave in one of the narco-boats, with water clothes, provisions and GPS phones.
The operation, sources indicate, has successfully brought a total of 51 people to justice and they have intervened 1,255 kilograms of cocaine and 390 of hashish, as well as two plantations with about 600 marijuana plants. Nine vehicles have also been intercepted, of which four had previously been stolen, and more than 60,000 euros in cash, as well as abundant documentation, state-of-the-art electronic devices, three firearms, and 6 semi-rigid boats valued at 1,500,000 euros .