POLICE in the Cadiz region of Andalucia have dismantled an intricate and diverse network of criminals behind a multi million euro cocaine ring.

At the head of the organisation, a 29-year-old couple from Jerez de la Frontera who lived the high life thanks to the profits from the distribution of the drug across the Sierra de Cadiz.

Dubbed the Cadiz Mafia, investigations began last year in what was known as Operation Primate, where police raided a fish market in the Barca de la Florida as discovered it was being used as a front for the gang to ship the drugs across the region during the pandemic.

According to the police reports, the fish market workers were enlisted by the gang leaders due to a drop in business thanks to COVID-19, using branded trucks to distribute cocaine without suspicion.

Investigations continued until a tip off led officers to an exclusive area in the El Puerto de Santa María area.

Alarm bells rang as the young couple, well known to their neighbours, appeared to be living the life of millionaires despite allegedly being ‘out of work’.

The couple had constructed three illegal, luxury villas on a rustic 2,000 square metre plot with swimming pools, landscaped gardens and floor to ceiling glass walls.

One of the under construction villas that the young couple owned including excavations for a swimming pool.

Also parked outside the villas were luxury cars including a Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes C63 AMG and an Audi RSQ5, all despite alleged declared earning of just €5,000 per year and he male suspect being registering as unemployed.

This led police to raid these properties, estimated to be worth over €3 million combined, with a further €1 million in assets including the cars.

Jet skis, boats, motorcycles and various items of high end clothing were seized along with €170,000 in cash and 22 properties.

36 separate bank accounts were also blocked, including the couples, who split their assets back in 2018 to confuse authorities after another police investigation into the discovery of 14 kilos of cocaine on their person.

It is rumoured by sources close to the case that the young couple had access to assets exceeding €12 million, all through the laundering of millions of euros through the drug organisation.

Among the arrests, of which there were 31 in total, were two soldiers from the Rota Naval base and an Once lottery ticket vendor from La Barca, as well as another young couple linked to the fish mongers of 21 and 32-years-old.

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