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major haul Spanish cops seize record €16.5 million in cash from cocaine trafficking gang

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Cash seized by Spanish police. Photo: Europol

Cash seized by Spanish police. Photo: Europol

Cash seized by Spanish police. Photo: Europol

More than €16.5 million confiscated in operation believed to be largest cash seizure from criminal organisation in Spain

Intelligence was received that a large consignment of cocaine hidden among frozen mackerel was being directed towards the Port of Algeciras

A total of 29 people have been arrested and more than 1.6 tonnes of cocaine and €16.5 million in cash has been seized in a major European operation targeting a criminal organisation in Spain.

The Spanish Guardia Civil, with support of Europol and its European Economic and Financial Crime Centre (EFECC), dismantled the criminal network that had been trafficking cocaine from South America to the Port of Algeciras.

The network that had been controlling the maritime traffic of containers coming from South America, involved employees who worked in various areas at the Port.

These employees included a worker from a port container terminal, two workers from the Border Inspection Post, four from Auxiliary Maritime Services (SAM), and several stevedores, freight forwarders, consignees and carriers.

The investigation was launched by the Guardia Civil in August 2020 as part of Operation Jumita.

On April 29 of this year, intelligence was received that a large consignment of cocaine hidden among frozen mackerel was being directed towards the Port of Algeciras.

A Spaniard, who was on the run from Spanish justice since 2017, was arrested in Amsterdam under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by the judicial authority and executed with the support of Dutch police officers.

The was supported by the EFECC at Europol as part of the economic investigation against the network and the alleged links of corruption with analytical and operational support. Two analysts were seconded to Spain to carry out the real-time cross-checking of data during “the action day”.

The €16.5 million confiscated is believed to be the largest cash seizure from a criminal organisation in Spain.

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