COLLABORATION between the Guardia Civil and the Spanish Tax Agency has resulted in the arrest of 21 people across the Alicante Province that had cocaine sent to Torrevieja from Colombia disguised as coffee.
Those detained – that included one woman – came from Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and Campello after 11 houses were searched as part of ͚Operation Alicafe͛.
One of those involved is also believed to be behind a robbery of £200,000 cash from an armoured vehicle in the UK that was used to finance a consignment of drugs for the organisation.
The raids seized more than 12 kilos of cocaine, 320 grams of amphetamines, and small amounts of marijuana and hashish. It is understood from the Spanish media that if the stash recovered was to be sold on the market, it would be worth more than €1 million.
Operation Alicafe started almost a year ago when the Guardia Civil in Madrid found a shipment of cocaine at the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport bound for Torrevieja. They found it was of high purity͛ from Colombia and mixed with the country͛s most famous export – coffee – to make it harder to detect at customs. The operation was described by investigators as ͞quite complex͟ since the group used to communicate via encrypted methods and not via the telephone. Experts in this field were brought in by the National Police to assist with tracing the culprits. A wide range of nationalities were involved in the alleged crimes, made up of 12 Colombians, five Spaniards, and one each from the UK, Morocco, Serbia and Belgium, and aged between 24 and 55.