Europol operation smashes massive drug smuggling ring

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AN operation undertaken by the Guardia Civil and Albanian police, coordinated by Europol has dismantled a network of drug smugglers in Albania and Bulgaria who were shipping heroin from the Balkans and Turkey to Barcelona and Tarragona.

Investigations commenced when officers of the Guardia Civil discovered that documents seized in a previous raid revealed that there was a highly organised gang based in Catalonia which was involved in the importation and sale of illegal drugs.

Officers used this information in order to keep those mentioned in the documents under surveillance which resulted in the arrest of seven people and the discovery of a sophisticated laboratory in a flat in the village of Gava (Barcelona).

In the laboratory investigators seized 38 kilos of heroin of high purity, 8 kilos of cocaine, 50 kilos of chemicals used for cutting and adulteration of the drug, a hydraulic press and a handgun with a silencer and ammunition.

The documents also revealed the address of the head of the network, an Albanian with an extensive criminal history. In addition to the drugs, agents seized cash, 10 vehicles, high-end, electronic communications equipment as well as additional and useful documentation.

Following the arrests it was determined that the Albanian prisoners were responsible for smuggling the heroin from Turkey to Spain whilst the Bulgarian arranged for it to be sold.

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