Police bust international drug trafficking gang that worked in Netherlands and Spain

Police bust international drug trafficking gang that worked in Netherlands and Spain Credit: Policia Nacional

Agents of the Spanish National Police have dismantled a criminal organisation dedicated to international drug trafficking in the Netherlands and Spain, involved in the processing and distribution of various narcotic substances of synthetic origin, as well as the extraction of coca base paste or cocaine hydrochloride, as reported on Thursday, September 15.

Spain’s National Police worked alongside Rotterdam National Police in the Netherlands, culminating in 25 arrests (24 in Spain and one in the Netherlands), with six of those arrested having been imprisoned so far.

In addition, in the 25 searches carried out in Spain, 67 kg of amphetamine sulphate (speed), €33,000 in cash, two high-end vehicles and 11.8 kg of cutting substances have been seized.

In the Netherlands, €7,500 in cash, 2.7 kg of methamphetamine (MDMA) as well as 0.5 litres in liquid form, 11,023 litres of precursor chemicals for the extraction and processing of narcotic drugs with an estimated production capacity of up to six tonnes of cocaine were seized.

The investigation began at the beginning of 2021, when the agents received information about possible small-scale cocaine trafficking in a hotel establishment in Pamplona.

Surveillance revealed that there was frequent movement of people in order to buy drugs, and that the purest and highest quality drugs came from another group of Peruvian origin.

After targeting this new group, it was possible to reach the leaders of a larger criminal organisation with connections, on the one hand, with the Netherlands and several South American countries, such as Colombia and Paraguay, and on the other with Peru, from where they tried to import cocaine impregnated in small shipments.

The leader of the organisation, based in Zaragoza, was also the chemist. He intended to open up the range of business, importing coca base paste to later synthesise the final product, cocaine hydrochloride.

To do this, he had the extensive knowledge of the leader of the Peruvian plot arrested in Pamplona, who had already been arrested years earlier when trying to smuggle drugs through Madrid Barajas airport.

The organisation had the logistical support of a Dutch criminal group that imported both the essential precursors for the production of all types of synthetic drugs and shipments of coca paste. These products were mainly smuggled through the port of Rotterdam.

As a result of international police cooperation, a European Investigation Order led to the dismantling of a laboratory in the Netherlands in which enough chemicals were seized to synthesise up to six tonnes of cocaine, making it one of the most important laboratories dismantled in the country.

This laboratory was also used for the production of other substances found on the site, such as methamphetamine, a drug that is currently of concern to the Dutch authorities, who consider it a serious risk to national security given the criminal organisations that are controlling its distribution.

In Spain, in Zaragoza, a clandestine laboratory was also dismantled, hidden in the storeroom of a recently opened bar, in which 66 kilograms of high purity amphetamine sulphate (speed) were seized.

The arrests were made in several phases, in operations set up in Pamplona, Zaragoza and Rotterdam, with 25 searches being carried out in these cities and in the Madrid municipality of Getafe.

Of the 25 people arrested, six have so far been imprisoned.

The news follows reports that the Spanish National Police have busted a human trafficking ring which, allegedly, was dedicated to the recruitment of underaged migrants who arrived on small boats to the Canary Islands in order to transfer them to the mainland and other European countries, as reported on Wednesday, September 14.


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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