The Spanish Civil Guard has arrested nine Britons for taking drugs to Spain in luxury recreational boats before shipping them to the UK.
In addition to the arrests, the Civil Guard seized 8,276 lb of cocaine, two luxury recreational boats, a vehicle, and several mobile phones.
According to the Civil Guard, merchant ships from South America would throw bags of cocaine into the sea at designated points.
These were then picked up by the recreational boats and taken to various marinas in Spain’s Malaga province ahead of being shipped to the UK.
The suspects are accused of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation. The UK authorities have requested their extradition.
The Civil Guard said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on 7th July: “The Civil Guard, as part of Operation ‘Eulalia’ in collaboration with the British NCA, has dismantled a criminal organisation dedicated to the large-scale introduction of cocaine from South America into the province of Malaga and the United Kingdom.
“Nine members of this network, all of them British nationals, have been arrested, and an international arrest warrant has been requested from the United Kingdom for the crimes of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation.
“Throughout the different phases of the operation, various searches have been carried out in the towns of Mijas Costa and Benalmadena in the province of Malaga, as well as in the United Kingdom, resulting in the seizure of 3,754 kilogrammes of cocaine, two luxury recreational boats, a vehicle, and a large number of mobile phones.
“The operation began as a result of a fiscal control conducted at Puerto Marina (Benalmadena), where a vessel raised suspicions among the agents. The vessel was identified and inspected.
“Initially, 18 one-kilogramme cocaine tablets wrapped in black plastic were found inside a plastic chest located on the deck.
“The narcotic substance was seized, and two British subjects were arrested.
“After requesting a judicial authorisation to search the cabins of the vessel, 166 identical cocaine tablets were seized.
“Following an exchange of information with agents from the British NCA, it was discovered that these same individuals were under investigation in the United Kingdom, their country of origin.
“This led to the initiation of a joint operation between both law enforcement agencies.
“This organisation, responsible for managing the logistics and distribution of the narcotics, used two luxury recreational boats to navigate to a prearranged location where merchant ships from Brazil would discard watertight bags containing cocaine into the sea.
“The network members would collect the drugs from the sea and transport them to marinas along the coast of Malaga.
“The narcotics were then stored in secure residences for subsequent transportation and distribution in the United Kingdom.
“In the actions carried out in the United Kingdom, 2.37 tonnes of cocaine and 1.2 tonnes of the same substance were seized, and seven other British individuals involved in this criminal group were arrested.
“The investigation was led by the Court of Instruction No. 4 of Torremolinos (Malaga) and conducted by the Organic Unit of Judicial Police of the Civil Guard Command of Malaga and the British NCA.”