The investigation lasted for years, then the police struck an international drug gang. Many suspects were arrested, and large amounts of money and drugs were seized.
Madrid – The Spanish police, in cooperation with colleagues from Germany and other countries, have smuggled what they say is the largest cocaine smuggling ring in Europe.
A total of 61 suspects were arrested, mainly from Balkan countries, 13 in Spain and most of the others in Slovenia, the police said when asked. In addition, 2.7 tons of cocaine were seized in Spain and 1.3 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean and two and a half tons of marijuana and 600,000 euros in cash were seized in various locations. The arrests were made in March.
In addition to police officers from Spain and Germany, colleagues from Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia as well as Colombia and US officials were involved in the long-term investigations headed by the European police authority Europol. The gang members were mainly citizens of Balkan countries such as Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. The arrests in Spain were already made in the spring of this year in Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Tarragona, Girona and Valencia.
The gang smuggled large quantities of cocaine from South America to Europe and distributed it in various European countries. The access took place when a shipment of 1.25 tons of cocaine, which had been brought from Brazil by sea to Europe, arrived in Spain.
The investigation was difficult because the leading members of the group were highly mobile, lived nowhere permanently and traveled quickly from country to country. In addition, the gang had great financial opportunities.
The functions of the individual members of the gang, their travels and contacts as well as the route of the drugs from South America to the individual European countries had been gradually determined in lengthy detailed work. According to the Colombian police, the gang also laundered money by changing players in professional football in the South American country. dpa