A NETWORK of warehouses from Gibraltar to Barcelona have been raided, revealing a large scale and ‘perfectly-structured’ drug trafficking operation led by a man known as “El Tapi”.

A total of 46 people have been arrested during 22 raids this week carried out throughout the provinces of Cádiz, Málaga, Almería, Murcia, Barcelona and in Spain’s north African city enclave of Ceuta.

El Tapi 1
SEIZED: Some of the tonnes of hashish that was transported through Spain

Sources also claim the group had huge logistical support in Almería that provided facilities to store and launch the boats used to transport hash bales from Morocco to Spain.

Over 8,500 kilos of hashish, six semi-rigid boats, a firearm and various electronic devices were seized.

The group is also being investigated for the crime of money-laundering and membership of a criminal organization.

Police had noticed that throughout their investigations, the network was a “perfectly structured organization.”

They used several warehouses located in the industrial estates of Almería, Murcia and Barcelona for maintaining the boats and storage of drugs. 

El Tapi 2
WAREHOUSES: Located between Almeria and Barcelona

Some gang members also operated in Portugal, so collaboration with their Judicial Police was key to the investigation.

The money laundering investigation revealed property assets of roughly €3 million, with other valuables worth approximately €1.5 million.

Investigations first started with the arrest of the gang’s leader, known by the alias of “El Tapi”, considered one of the leading figures in drug trafficking.

He had previously organized and directed the transport of hashish from the shores of Morocco to the Andalusian coast.

The 33-year-old already had many convictions for drug trafficking, but proved very elusive during the investigation, with several gang members providing security and cover for him.

He was considered one of the main targets for the Guardia Civil in their fight against drug trafficking in the Campo de Gibraltar.

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