National Police have arrested a total of 17 people (including two brothers), in a joint operation with the Customs and Tax Agency, after they landed 2,875 kilos of cocaine on to Playa del Cura, in the southern municipality of Mogán (Gran Canaria).
The seizure resulted from an investigation that has lasted a year and a half, and in which officials from Huelva, on the Spanish Peninsula, have participated, as well as agents from the National Police central Drugs and Organised Crime Unit, UDYCO (Unidad de Drogas y Crimen Organizado), along with agents from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The head of UDYCO in the National Police Headquarters in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Jose Antonio Ayuso, said at a press conference that the 2,875 kilos of cocaine seized was at “a 90 percent level of purity”, with a potential street market value that could reach up to €100 million,although he emphasised that this value could be multiplied by at least four if you consider that it is usually sold by the gram.
Ayuso explained that the operation had started in Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura) as a result of a purchase by a person known to be engaged in cutting the drug, using other substances, that led to further investigation revealing information to agents of the National Police and Customs Surveillance officials who subsequently established an operation along the coastal area between Mogán and Puerto Rico (Gran Canaria), leading to the discovery that the people being investigated had spent several days in apartments in the south and that they had weapons.
Surveillance resulted in the detection of suspects travelling in two inflatable boats to a “mothership” located two miles off the coast to move the drugs to the beach of Medio Almud, where it was landed in bales, where they were intercepted by the agents.
This led to the arrest of 13 people – the other four were subsequently rounded up and arrested – and 125 bales containing 2,875 kilos of cocaine were seized. In addition, two firearms were discovered, including an M-16 assault rifle and a semi-automatic pistol.
In total, two inflatable boats, eight vehicles, a motorcycle, three vans with false license plates and €6,000 in cash were confiscated. However, Ayuso said, they are still seeking to locate and detain two members of the organisation, one Uruguayan and one Spanish.
The Secretary of State for Security, Ana Botella, and the Chief of the National Police in the Canary Islands, José María Moreno, along with the deputy director of the Technical Office of the National Police, Eulalia González, and Government delegate to the Canary Islands, Elena Máñez, have all congratulated the agents who participated in the operation and have stressed the importance of this seizure.