A GANG of drugs wholesalers who smuggled up to six tonnes of cannabis a month into Spain has been broken up.
Spain’s Guardia Civil, supported by Europol made 64 arrests, seized eight tonnes of cannabis, four high-powered speedboats two semi inflatable boats, and 16 cars and vans during eight raids in a day of action against the criminal group.
Police say the criminals trafficked drugs from Morocco to Algeciras and the Campo de Gibraltar. The drugs were concealed and transported on speedboats to a small pier – known as a narco jetty – owned by the criminals.
A Europol spokesman said: “The Clan de los Pinchos has a core group of several suspects. These suspects are Spanish and share a very strong bond, which ensures their criminal activities go undiscovered.
“Many other criminal associates of the clan were also working on different shipments. This violent network of hashish drug traffickers operating in the Gibraltar area could supply other criminals with three to six tonnes of cannabis a month.
“The criminal profits from this trafficking were laundered through investment in properties, made by shell companies and run by straw men. The shell companies would then buy nautical equipment for the speedboats transporting the drugs.”
The operation also targeted this money laundering operation, with bank accounts and property worth a total of €3 million frozen.
Europol facilitated the information exchange and provided analytical support. During the action day, Europol deployed three experts to Cadiz to cross-check operational information in real-time against Europol’s databases and provided technical support with phone extraction capabilities.