14 Feb, 2024 @ 17:30
2 mins read

Top anti-drug cop set to be judged in bribery trial: Decorated officer had ‘dangerous friendships with hashish smugglers’ in Spain’s Cadiz

Lieutenant Colonel David Oliva Moreno

A TOP counternarcotics officer on trial over allegations he bribed a fellow officer is set to learn his fate tomorrow.

Lieutenant Colonel David Oliva, the highly decorated leader of a special task force in the Campo de Gibraltar, is accused of bribing a fellow officer into being his mole.

The former head of OCON-South dangled a position in his crack unit to the officer in exchange for spying into an internal investigation into his relationships with the region’s drug trafficking groups.

The investigation sprang up in response to rumours that Oliva had attended a party thrown by the drug gangs he was supposed to be fighting.

OCON-South was abruptly disbanded in 2022 by Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, a decision that police and Civil Guard associations have blamed for leading to the deaths of two Guardia Civil officers last week.

The group of around 150 elite from the Armed Institute were stationed in the Port of Algeciras and had enjoyed great success in staunching the flow of drugs into Cadiz. 

Lieutenant Colonel David Oliva Moreno (far left) poses with Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska in the summer of 2021 after receiving the National Drug Plan Merit Medal

They were credited with forcing the drug traffickers on the Cadiz coast to relocate to other provinces such as Malaga, Seville, or Huelva, and even to southern Portugal to be able to offload their drugs from the high seas or neighbouring Morocco.

However, three months after the outfit was disbanded in September 2022, Oliva’s mole – identified as JABP – was arrested in Algeciras.

Corrupt cop catchers searched his house and workplace and seized his mobile phone and other gear he sued and accused him of disclosing secrets.

READ MORE: A top chief in the Malaga Guardia Civil under investigation for partying with drug traffickers near Gibraltar 

An operation was launched after a dispute broke out between Oliva and another lieutenant over his ‘dangerous friendship’ with local drug lords and trafficking families.

According to the investigation, Grande-Marlaska had concerns about Oliva’s style of leadership and his ‘cult of personality’. 

Internal Affairs began to investigate Oliva’s relationships with narco traffickers and in response Oliva is alleged to have bribed JABP – who accepted – into keeping him informed on the progress of the investigation.

JABP testified before the National Court in December 2022, and four months later in April 2023, Oliva and the second lieutenant involved (JIFP) did the same. 

Until its dismantling, OCON-South had smashed all records for arrests and seizures, leading to Oliva being awarded the National Plan on Drugs Medal of Merit in 2021.

Oliva pioneered a new method of fighting the perennial scourge of the region by targeting the traffickers’ assets rather than their drug stashes.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a stitch up’: Anti-drugs officer facing bribery allegations is being set up by vengeful narco traffickers, colleagues claim

He also focused on following the money laundering trail and the tentacles of corruption around Andalucia.

So the drug traffickers along Spain’s southern coast celebrated the demise of the crack group.

“I hope this son of a bitch dies a slow death, suffering each minute,” one narco-trafficker wrote of Oliva in a Whatsapp group seen by El Mundo.

Oliva has been serving in the Malaga headquarters of the Guardia Civil.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]

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