THE GUARDIA CIVIL has smashed a criminal ring using a new route to smuggle cocaine from Brazil to Spain.
Officers have arrested four people in Malaga and seized around 11 kilos of the narcotic under operation Banca Latvia, which discovered the organisation was smuggling cocaine through Morocco, a route not previously used.
Working with police in Madrid, officers found the group were flying smugglers from Brazil to Morocco and then on to Spain using suitcases with false bottoms. The Guardia Civil found the organisation had recruited mules from various different countries, flying some people from Madrid to Buenos Aires and then on to Brazil where they would be given a ticket for Morocco and then Malaga.
Last month, a Spanish man was detained in France for smuggling one ton of cannabis from Malaga.The 35-year-old is being held after his truck was searched by officers in Montmarault near Lyon. Police say he was stopped due to collaboration between the Spanish and French authorities.
Also in November, a man was arrested in Malaga for importing 65 kilos of cocaine. The accused has been handed over to a court in Alegciras and police have not ruled out further arrests after they discovered the drugs at Algeciras port.
Officers from the Tax Agency and Guardia Civil seized the narcotics after becoming suspicious of a shipment. Using a non-intrusive scanner, officers discovered the cocaine had been hidden in eight small metal cylinders covered in lead.
The scanner showed officers the shipment’s contents did not match their description and they began to examine the objects. Looking into the cylinders, they found pills which, when tested, where found to be cocaine.
Police tracked the shipment back to a company on an industrial estate in Malaga and discovered the property did not seem to be used for commercial operations.
Meanwhile in October, police began investigating another company in Malaga after finding 1,109 kilos of cocaine hidden in cargo containers.
The drugs, which have now been seized, were discovered concealed among an order of plasterboard panels being shipped from Colombia to the Malaga-based construction company. The tax office, National Police, German customs office and Spanish branch of the American Drug Enforcement Administration began working together in August thanks to a tip off about an international crime organisation.
Their investigations led them to the construction company, whose headquarters are in Seville, and the discovery of the shipment.