POLICE found a lorry load of frozen sardines with an unusual herbal stuffing this week. The consignment of fish was stuffed with 900 kilos of cannabis.
Customs officials tracked the cargo from Morocco to a dockside warehouse in Cadiz and then onto a luxury villa in Marbella.
The operation – codenamed Maria – led to the arrest of 14 suspected traffickers and the confiscation of cannabis worth more than €3.6 million.
“Officers found 325 kilos of hashish hidden inside the frozen sardines in the refrigeration truck,” said a police spokesman. “A further 570 kilos was intercepted in a warehouse of El Puerto de Santa María in Cadiz,” he added.
Police had been monitoring the gang for more than a month after the syndicate leader arrived in Spain from Morocco to plan the shipment.