FIGURES revealed by the Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO) have shown that Andalucia continues to be a hotspot for marijuana and hashish entering Spain.
The annual research conducted under the guidance of the Ministry of Interior gathers information to help understand how criminal operations work with the aim of dismantling one of the world’s most profitable businesses.
During 2019, a trend appeared to show that drug operations were steering towards locally grown produce such as marijuana, and away from imported substances like cocaine and heroin.
In what was a record year, 1,538,995 individual marijuana plants were seized across the country, 57% more than 2018.
In terms of regions, Andalucia remains at the top of the pile when it comes to marijuana entering the country.
In total, 11.3 tonnes of the drug entered via the southern coastline, a 10% increase on the previous year and over double the amount compared to the second place Catalunya with 5.34 tonnes.
Hashish, the processed and compressed version of the marijuana plant, dropped slightly with 295.6 tonnes coming into Spain via Andalucia, down 20% on 2018.
Cocaine entry also showed a slight decline, with a year-on-year drop of 20% to 37.7 tonnes.
2019 also marked a rise in the arrests made for smuggling, with 20,437 criminals apprehended marking a 12% jump on 2018.
Suprising anomalies revealed by the study show that Navarra, a small province in the north of Spain, has shown a 1000% increase in marijuana raids and a 93% rise in cocaine seizures.
Valencia and Andalucia also flagged up to show a growing niche on the distribution of illicit erectile dysfunction drugs, with a total of 6.7 million pills confiscated.