Guardia Civil seizes more than two tons of cocaine hidden in tuna cans in the Port of Algeciras

Guardia Civil seizes more than two tons of cocaine hidden in tuna cans in the Port of Algeciras

Image of items seized by the Guardia Civil. Credit: Guardia Civil

More than two tons of cocaine hidden in cans of tuna from Ecuador was discovered by Guardia Civil officers in the Port of Algeciras.

As reported in a statement from the Guardia Civil this Sunday, March 5, officers arrested 15 people belonging to a criminal organisation dedicated to the introduction of cocaine through the port of Algeciras. Two tons of cocaine was discovered hidden in cans of tuna arriving in a container from Ecuador as a result of ‘Operation Xelinsulam-Albacares’.

The haul of narcotics was seized along with various assets, that were subsequently blocked. These included bank accounts, accounts in neo-banks, and various properties totalling €1,524,000.

This operation was launched in February of last year after the force became aware of the existence of a criminal network based in the Cantabrian municipality of Castro Urdiales. It was thought to be dedicated to massive fraud against banking entities.

Continuing with the investigations, it was found that this organisation had brought a group of Colombian nationals into the country. They had the intention of creating a security nucleus and establishing the necessary logistics to introduce cocaine through the port of Algeciras it was believed.

As a result of these investigations, the Guardia Civil managed to identify the Colombian citizens. It was verified that these people were directly related to clandestine cocaine laboratories in Colombia, as well as to a network of hit men and people on the run from justice in the United States.

Investigators were able to relate this organisation to an ongoing investigation that was taking place in Algeciras, where 2,458 kilograms of cocaine were seized hidden in tuna cans from a container from Ecuador.

The leaders of the organisation located frontmen who were placed in charge of a network of companies whose sole purpose was to establish a fictitious activity. This covered all kinds of fraudulent details, to justify the request for credits of very high amounts to banking entities. The money was distributed automatically to other companies in the network, with accounts both in Spain and abroad.

Likewise, the members of the organisation made use of the capital through credit cards from financial technology companies or ‘neobanks’. In addition, they led a life surrounded by luxuries, using high-end vehicles, obtained through scams from vehicle leasing companies.

As a result of the investigations, the police obtained sufficient evidence to impute the seizure of the 2,458 kilos of cocaine to the said organisation. It was also traced to three commercial companies and the force executed the operation in a coordinated manner in the five different provinces of Cantabria, Bizkaia, Guipuzcoa, Madrid and Valencia.

The first arrests were made in the town of Vizcaya town of Amorebieta. Subsequently, after investigators witnessed the delivery of 1 kilogram of amphetamine sulfate – speed – in an operation, four arrests and four searches were made.

In the records, among other effects, more than 3 kilograms of marijuana that ready for sale and two high-end vehicles were seized. Eleven more people were arrested as the alleged perpetrators in their involvement in the introduction of the 2,458 kilos of cocaine.

It should be noted that in the records, a cocaine-cutting laboratory was discovered in which all the necessary material for the manipulation of the drug was located. More than 600 grams of cocaine in rock was also confiscated, along with various firearms, smaller amounts of hashish and amphetamine, €20,000 in cash, three high-end vehicles, and a fourth high-value vehicle that had been stolen. The total police valuation of the seized drugs amounts to more than €87 million.

The gang’s network of bank scams is being investigated after managing to determine the existence of at least 34 harmed banking entities, a multitude of vehicle leasing companies, as well as great economic damage which is yet to be determined.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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