Ex-Real Madrid striker one of 18 arrested in Spain as police shut down suspected drug trafficking ring

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A former Real Madrid striker is one of 18 arrested in Spain after police shut down a suspected drug trafficking ring and seized a tonne of cocaine.

FORMER Colombian football player Edwin Congo was arrested for his alleged contacts with the gang leader ‘and later released to appear before a judge when summoned.’

The National Police confirmed they seized a tonne of cocaine ‘which was impregnated in the cardboard of fruit boxes,’ as part of ‘a macro-operation carried out in Spain, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Colombia.’

The dismantled organisation was based in Spain and allegedly used a sophisticated system to conceal drugs, the police confirmed.

Sources claim investigators found cocaine had been ‘impregnated between overlapping layers of paper during the manufacturing process of the cardboard boxes and extracted through complex chemical processes.’

Each box contained small amounts of drugs, less than 100 grams, and was sent from Colombia to Europe in containers carrying pineapples and limes.

The international macro-operation ended with the recovery of 1,200 kilos of pressed cardboard and more than 1,000 litres of chemicals in the Netherlands.

Nine arrests were made in Spain, four in Bulgaria, three in the Netherlands and two in Colombia.

Speaking on the Spanish programme El Chiringuito de Mega, Congo admitted knowing several of those being investigated and said officers recommended he stay away from certain types of people during interview.

The Central Court of Instruction 2 of the Audiencia Nacional has been put in charge of the operation, together with the Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, with the collaboration of the police of Bulgaria, Colombia, the Netherlands, Interpol or the US DEA, among others.

The investigation began a year ago, when the alleged illegal activities of a man nicknamed The Surgeon or Little Doctor, arrested years ago for drug trafficking, became known.

His ‘clinic’ among other places is believed to have been used as a cover for the trafficking.

The leader of the gang is reportedly a Colombian national who was in charge of supplying the narcotic substance, according to police sources.

The drugs were allegedly distributed throughout Europe, with the contacts and logistics necessary to cover their shipments to Spain, Greece, the Netherlands and other countries.

In January, investigators learned that the network was preparing the shipment of a significant amount of drugs through the route under investigation, namely the shipment to Greece of a cargo with four containers of hidden cocaine, which was intercepted in Sofia, Bulgaria.

As part of the investigation, eight international orders have been processed by the Central Court of Instruction number two of the National Court.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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