The group, dubbed a “super cartel” by investigators, was allegedly behind a third of the total cocaine market in Europe.
In total six ‘drug lords’ have been arrested simultaneously in Dubai and in Spain, with searches and arrests being carried out in the provinces of Malaga, Madrid, and Barcelona.
The leader of the suspected criminal organization is a British citizen linked to the Costa del Sol who had to leave Spain due to an attempted kidnapping against him.
He then moved to Dubai where he “continued directing and coordinating the criminal activities of the organization, while maintaining contacts and drug trafficking businesses with the rest of the ‘drug lords’.”
The Civil Guard, coordinated by Europol, and police agencies from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Dubai dismantled the super cartel that controlled a large part of the cocaine market in Europe.
The criminal organization allegedly established its base in these countries, coinciding with the location of the most important European ports considered the “main gateway for drugs to the European continent”.
From Dubai, the leaders of this suspected mega cartel are said to have “controlled and directed the criminal activities of the different cells”, under the conviction of being in a sanctuary where they felt “untouchable” which in turn allowed them to maintain a high standard of living.
In the course of the investigation, more than 30 tons of cocaine were seized that were intended to flood Europe with this drug and which, together with the estimates made by Europol, could account for a third of the total market.
Investigations in the three areas of Spain started on November 8 and have resulted in the arrest of 15 people, including three “drug lords” – two of them in Dubai, including the Brit, and another in Malaga.
Operation Faukas began with the seizure of a container in the Port of Valencia in March 2020, containing 698 kg of cocaine, with no arrests made at the time.
During the course of an investigation between police and Europol, it was discovered that a criminal organization had allegedly been established in Spain that was shipping cocaine between the ports of Barcelona, Valencia, and Algeciras.
The group had two “perfectly differentiated structures”, according to officers, “one in charge of extracting drugs from commercial seaports and another responsible for money laundering through real estate companies.”
Giardia Civil officers say it was a “complex corporate network of real estate investments” in the Costa del Sol, branded the “nerve center of their financial activities” where they “laundered the profits obtained from drug trafficking.”
It is suspected that they acquired movable and immovable property and shares worth about 24 million euros.
In the records appeared elements that allegedly link those investigated to criminal activity, as well as more than €500,000 in cash, three short arms with ammunition magazines, and luxury items including high-end vehicles, some of them with prices close to €300,000.
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