Guardia Civil smashes criminal gang dedicated to cocaine trafficking in Campo de Gibraltar

Image of Guardia Civil raid.

Image of Guardia Civil raid. Credit. Twitter@guardiacivil

In collaboration with Europol, Spain’s Guardia Civil helped to dismantle a criminal organisation dedicated to introducing large amounts of cocaine from South America through the Port of Algeciras.

As revealed in a statement from the force this Friday, May 26, ‘Operation Kiken’ resulted in the arrest of 30 people. More than 1,000 kilos of cocaine were seized after 23 house searches were carried out in the Cádiz towns of Algeciras, San Roque, and Los Barrios.

A total of 10 vehicles were confiscated, along with €172,000 in cash, 40 kilograms of cocaine, an assault submachine gun and two short firearms.

Jewellery and watches of high economic value were also discovered, plus a large number of cutting tools for opening maritime containers. Uniformed port stevedore garments were found, supposedly used to camouflage the detainees inside the container terminals.

The operation was launched in September 2022 after the police detected a group of lorry drivers all working under the umbrella of the same Algeciras freight transport company.

They suspected them of making use of their work activity to access a port terminal to extract cocaine that had been hidden inside containers.

This fact was confirmed in December 2022, when 500 kilos of cocaine were seized at the exit of the Port of Algeciras in nine suitcases hidden in the cabin of a lorry.

In that action, the driver and five other people who were travelling in another lorry were arrested. They had accessed the Port terminal at the same time and their function was thought to be that of opening the container in the same terminal to remove the suitcases and put them in the first vehicle.

From that moment, the investigators identified and located the rest of the members of the organisation, including its leaders.

During this process, it was discovered that the organisation was directed by a well-known Spanish drug trafficker, nicknamed ‘Risitas’, who as part of the same investigation had previously been arrested and admitted to a Valencian prison.

Police officers also arrested two lieutenants responsible for the operational and logistics branch of the organisation. The first of them had the main function of directing and organising drug extraction operations, for which he made use of people he trusted.

The other lieutenant was the head of operations for a freight transport company based in Algeciras, who was in charge of looking for drivers to participate in these operations. Once recruited, he facilitated their access to the Terminal using the company’s credentials.

Their modus operandi was always the same. Two lorries entered the terminal of the Port of Algeciras with the appearance of carrying out legal activities.

One of them carried the ‘colla’ who, once in the Terminal yard, would open the container to extract the bags containing the cocaine from inside.

Next, they loaded the bags onto the second lorry, to then leave the Port in the lorry they had come on. To support operations inside the Port, the organisation had a large number of people who controlled any police movement that could hinder its activities.

In addition, it was possible to identify and arrest those responsible for the drug distribution branch, who divided and cut the merchandise to sell it and supply it at a lower level.

During the course of the investigation, and when part of the members of the organisation was already known, as well as the methodology used, the investigators detected that the criminals were going to make a new stash.

Once again, the attempt was frustrated by the investigative unit, which managed to intercept the two lorries. One was carrying 500 kilos of cocaine hidden in the cabin, and the ‘colla’ that was trying to leave the Port after extracting the drug.

Despite the fact that the leader of the organisation was in prison, was verified how one of his lieutenants travelled from Algeciras to the Penitentiary Center in Valencia in the days prior to these events, to coordinate the details of the operations.

Finally, after managing to identify all the components of the criminal organisation, the exploitation phase of the investigation took place in which 23 house searches were carried out and 30 people were arrested.

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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


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