By Tara Rippin • 31 October 2020 • 17:58
Police in Spain and Poland have blown the whistle on an international drug trafficking network associated with Kraków football hooligans.
A three-year-long investigation has culminated in 68 arrests of alleged members of a large drug trafficking network operating in multiple European countries.
Supported by Europol and Eurojust, the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation, Polish Border Guard, Spanish National Police and the British Regional Organised Crime Units joined forces during a series of coordinated action days between May 2019 and September 2020 to bring down the gang.
They recovered large quantities of drugs including four cannabis plantations (ca. 3 000 plants), 3.4 tonnes of cannabis, 1.4 tonnes of hashish, 280 kg of marijuana;
various weapons including machetes, incapacitating gases, knives, six firearms and 11 stolen vehicles; electronic devices;
More than €3 million worth of assets in bank accounts and properties was also seized.
The Polish criminal group was associated with football hooligans of one of Kraków’s sports clubs.
The criminal network bought, smuggled and sold large quantities of drugs mainly hashish, marijuana and cocaine.
The gang collaborated with an Albanian-speaking organised criminal group to smuggle cocaine to the UK.
The international smuggling was carried out across borders by concealing drugs within transported goods or in hidden compartments of vehicles.
The stashed drugs transited from Spain and to multiple countries including Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and the UK.
Since the beginning of the investigations, 68 suspects linked to the organised crime group have been arrested.
During the coordinated operations that took place in September, Polish and Spanish police arrested 13 suspects of whom four were allegedly the kingpins of the organised crime group.
One of the leaders lived in Alicante.
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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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