By John Ensor •
Published: 16 Sep 2023 • 13:47
Cocaine Seizure in Galicia.
A recent joint operation between Spain and the US has highlighted what can be achieved through international teamwork.
On September 11, off the coast of Vigo, Spain, a significant drug bust took place. A report from Policia Nacional published on Saturday, September 16, revealed how they in collaboration with the US’s DEA, apprehended a fishing vessel carrying a staggering 2,300 kilos of cocaine.
The operation’s roots trace back to the discovery of suspects linked to the Balkan Cartel. These individuals planned to exploit Spain as a gateway for narcotics, with their aim to distribute them across Europe.
Investigations revealed the organisation’s strategy. Large container ships from Latin America would transport the drugs. These would then be discreetly transferred to smaller vessels, which would sail from local ports, in the hope that they would evade the attention of the authorities.
The combined efforts of the National Police and the DEA identified potential recipients of the narcotics. With the Xunta de Galicia’s assistance, a maritime operation was set up near Vigo. On the aforementioned date, GEO agents identified a suspicious fishing boat approximately 40 miles from Vigo’s coast. Despite police warnings, the Ferrol-based vessel didn’t stop, which left officers with no other choice but to board the vessel.
Upon inspection, agents discovered numerous bales on the deck, confirming the narcotics’ origin from a larger vessel. The four crew members were promptly arrested and the boat was escorted to Vigo’s port. Another individual, responsible for receiving and relocating the drugs, unaware of the boat’s capture, attempted to escape from Galicia to Madrid. However, he was later arrested in a Madrid hotel.
The National Court’s Central Court of Instruction number three, backed by the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, authorised searches of the boat and two homes in Coruña. This led to the confiscation of nearly €200,000 in cash and a luxury vehicle.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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