A massive drugs laboratory capable of producing 200 kilogrammes of cocaine a day has been busted in Spain.
The lab – said to be the largest outside of South America – ran round the clock processing cocaine paste into a drug for street sale.
Police seized nearly one and a half tonnes of the raw paste waiting to be processed by the gang, according to authorities.
The lab – set up by Colombian and Mexican cartels – was raided during a joint operation by Spanish and Colombian police.
Local police said that the lab – in Cerdedo-Cotobad, in the province of Pontevedra, Galicia – was so busy it had day and night shifts of chemists, technicians and packers.
Police seized 18 suspects in a series of raids across Spain and the Canary Islands.
Among those arrested, were six Colombians and two Mexicans, who worked in semi-slavery conditions, according to the police.
They also confiscated 1,300 kilogrammes (2,866 lbs) of cocaine paste, the largest-ever seizure outside South America.
The paste had been trafficked into Spain, hidden in large stone-crushing machines,
Police further seized 151 kilogrammes (333 lbs) of cocaine ready to sell and 23,000 litres of chemicals used to process the paste into the drug.
Police also locked down 17 properties worth an estimated EUR 1.7 million and seized cars, jewellery and cash.
Official video footage of the raid shows two huge vats where the raw paste was cooked and hundreds of packets of drugs marked with Superman ‘S’ labels.
Astonishingly, police say they stumbled across the lab while they were watching two suspects in the Canary Islands who have Colombian connections.
Tracking them led investigators to the factory on the peninsula and a storage unit near Madrid.