The Canary | Mon, August 30, 2021 | 0
Four tons of hashish seized from gang who used the Canary Islands as a route of entry to Spain
Guardia Civil, in a joint operation with the Policia Nacional, have seized almost four tons of hashish in a macro operation against a group of smugglers who, allegedly, used the Canary Islands to set up a new route of entry into Spain. They imported the drug from Africa to Spain in order to distribute it throughout the peninsula and Europe. They had a large infrastructure including a company that was responsible for transporting the narcotics from the islands to the peninsula through the port of Alicante, hiding it in large wooden compartments by means of sea containers. Before sending it to Madrid, where it was stored in industrial warehouses, the organisation stored it, for a cooling off period, in establishments and premises around the Canary Islands archipelago, waiting to be sent regularly with the certainty of not having been discovered. To evade the police, they carried out counter-surveillance operations for several weeks in the ports and places that they intended to use to introduce the hashish.
The investigation began when the agents became aware of the existence of a smuggling route to introduce narcotic substances to the peninsula, with a prior stop in the Canary Islands. With this novel technique, they tried to evade police action and more easily distribute the drugs throughout Europe. With the first investigations, they found out that members of the group of drug traffickers had establishments and premises where they stored the drug, on its way from Africa, before sending it on to Madrid.
Drugs hidden in large wooden compartments
Later in the investigation, it was discovered that the traffickers had infrastructure developed by through a company that was in charge of importing the drugs to the peninsula, in maritime containers. So that it could be moved unnoticed, they hid it in large wooden compartments. In addition, the leaders controlled the drug movements at all times from their base in the Canary Islands, where they led an apparently normal and discreet life. To do this, they used complex technical devices and commercial structures, with which they coordinated their lieutenants to travel to the mainland Spain prior to the arrival of drugs in Madrid.
These people were in charge of carrying out counter-surveillance work for several weeks in the ports and places that they intended to use to introduce the hashish and proceed to its subsequent storage. Once the lieutenants settled in Madrid, they acquired large industrial warehouses far from urban centres, where they could store huge consignments of narcotic substances in a relatively safe manner. To introduce the drug onto the mainland, they used the port of Alicante. The organisation carried out counter-surveillance tasks, deploying men they trusted to the companies in charge of transporting the cargo and, thus, avoiding being discovered by the police.
Once the investigators collected all this information, they increased their efforts to control the cities of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Alicante, and Madrid, used by the criminal gang as strategic points to import hashish. Thanks to continuous police surveillance of the organisation, they discovered an industrial warehouse in the Madrid town of Leganés, where two trucks in a very short time unloaded inside. Each time these consignments were sent, the members of the criminal organisation carried out counter-surveillance on the trucks and vans in which, supposedly, they had loaded the narcotic substance, so it was difficult for the agents to be able to track those vehicles without themselves being discovered.
Five arrested, organisation dismantled
Shortly afterwards, the agents intercepted a large cargo van near Toledo. The driver tried to flee before being arrested, endangering pedestrians and vehicles passing through the area. Investigators seized 1,274 kilograms of high-quality hash from inside the van.
After this seizure, agents organised a complex operational framework aimed at simultaneously arresting all members of the gang. Two lieutenants in the town of Leganés controlled the places where the substance was collected and stored, and were arrested. Likewise, the main leader of the organisation, a Spanish citizen living in the Canary Islands and who controlled the entire operation from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and a third lieutenant, who tried to hide was finally located. While the leader was being arrested, two searches were made, in one premises the organisation had established a cooling-off point for their cargos.
Thanks to this device, it was possible to completely dismantle the collection and storage places used for the narcotic cargo that the organisation had in Madrid and the Canary Islands.
Agents, who had controlled the entry routes of the narcotic substance of the criminal organisation to the peninsula, traveled to the Port of Alicante, where a total of 1,782 kilograms of high-quality hashish was seized, to completely dismantle the gang and break the route of entry into the Iberian Peninsula. In total, almost four tons of hashish have been seized, two vans, a vehicle, a motorcycle, €5,280 in cash, various computer and documentation equipment.