Spanish police lead global crackdown at 61 airports

Spanish-led operation reaps worldwide rewards

Image of police vehicle. Credit: PoliciaNacional/X

A recent global initiative spearheaded by the Spanish National Police targeted 61 airports across 36 countries.

From December 11 to 18, an unprecedented crackdown on drug trafficking across international airports has brought significant results.

In this large-scale operation, coordinated efforts led by Spain saw the arrest of 46 individuals and the seizure of 850 kilograms of illegal drugs.

This included operations at major hubs like Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas and El Prat de Barcelona, highlighting the extensive reach and effectiveness of the collaboration.

International collaboration at its best

The operation’s success was underpinned by a coalition of 36 countries, with Spain at the helm. Participating nations across Europe, as well as agencies like FRONTEX, EUROPOL, and INTERPOL, played pivotal roles, drawing on intelligence from the Americas and Africa.

This wide network facilitated the monitoring of passengers and cargo, focusing on flights primarily originating from America.

Pre-emptive strategy

Intelligence work before the operation was crucial. It allowed for a detailed global analysis and strategic targeting of shipments and individuals likely involved in drug trafficking.

This preparatory phase was instrumental in the operation’s success, ensuring that efforts were concentrated where they were most needed.

Unprecedented seizures and arrests

The operation netted 354 kilograms of cocaine, 356.4 kilograms of cannabis, 37.8 kilograms of synthetic drugs, and 101.5 kilograms of other substances. This demonstrates the wide range of narcotics trafficked through air transport and the operation’s ability to disrupt these activities effectively.

Participating countries

  • EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden.
  • Non-EU countries: Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Jamaica, North Macedonia, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Togo, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States

The operation not only showcases the power of international cooperation in combating crime but also sets a new benchmark for similar future endeavours.

Through meticulous planning and execution, a significant blow was dealt to drug trafficking networks operating across the globe.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.