Two Dutch among 40 arrested in Spanish cannabis trafficking bust

The Spanish police seized 1 ton of cannabis and 580 marijuana plants when busting a gang suspected of trafficking drugs to the Netherlands, May 2020
The Spanish police seized 1 ton of cannabis and 580 marijuana plants when busting a gang suspected of trafficking drugs to the Netherlands, May 2020Guardia CivilGuardia Civil

The Spanish police dismantled a drug ring suspected of smuggling huge amounts of cannabis, mainly to the Netherlands. A total of 40 people were arrested in the Spanish provinces of Malaga, Almeria, and Murcia. Two Dutch truck drivers were also arrested. About a ton of cannabis and 580 cannabis plants were seized, the Guardia Civil, the Spanish police, said in a statement. 

The Spanish police started investigating this drug gang in 2018. According to the police, the criminal organization delivered huge quantities of cannabis to Dutch organizations. Because of the large quantities involved, the gang had to make use of multiple suppliers - there was simply too much drugs for one supplier to produce. The drugs were transported from the suppliers to the city of Utera in Seville, where they were vacuum packed and prepared for transport. 

The drugs were the transported to the Netherlands, hidden in truck loads of other products. In two such shipments intercepted recently, the police found nearly a thousand kilograms of cannabis, among other things.

One truck was stopped in the province of Caceres. In that truck, officers found over 240 kilos of vacuum packed cannabis, a kilo of cocaine, and 5 thousand euros in cash - all hidden among over 13 tons of garlic. The second truck, which was carrying a high-pressure chemical cleaning unit, was intercepted in the province of Castellon. In a hidden compartment, the police found 700 kilograms of vacuum packed cannabis and 5 kilos of hashish. The two truck drivers were arrested, both are from the Netherlands. 

In Malaga, the police arrested 24 people on suspicion of "belonging to a criminal organization dedicated to international drug trafficking, whose destinations were northern European countries, mainly the Netherlands", the police said.  14 people were arrested in Murcia, all members of the same family, and 325 cannabis plants were seized. Two people were arrested at an indoor cannabis plantation with 335 plants in Almeria.

The police said that the gang used "hawala banking", a system of illegal underground banking, for their 'business', which involved at least 1.6 million euros. 

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