22 Mar, 2024 @ 16:15
1 min read

Criminals operated helicopter ‘narco flights’ importing hashish into Spain

A CRIMINAL gang importing drugs from Morocco to Spain on two helicopters has been busted by the Guardia Civil and the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie.

Nine people have been arrested in Andalucia including two pilots who are experts in night and low-altitude flights.

Both helicopters-worth €900,000 each on the black market- have been seized along with 795 kilos of hashish.

CHOPPER’S FULL STASH

Operation Torcal 469 Tornado began in mid-2023 after authorities discovered that the gang was looking for pilots to carry out drug flights between Spain and Morocco.

After several months of investigations, Guardia officers found two helicopters hidden on farms in Sevilla and Cadiz provinces, with the properties leased by the gang leader.

In the early hours of January 15, investigators detected a narco-flight in Cadiz province heading south from the organisation’s farm.

The craft was flying at a very low altitude and without any lights.

A Guardia Civil helicopter pursued the craft and arrested five people including the pilot when it landed at a farm in Chiciana de Frontera.

The helicopter was carrying 30 bales of hashish weighing 795 kilos.

GUARDIA NIGHT RAID

A number of navigation devices and mobile phones were also seized as well as three vehicles used by the gang.

One of the organisation’s leaders was involved in a traffic accident and died in an area close to where the helicopter was seized.

It’s suspected that that he fled the scene at high speed before his car left the road and crashed.

In the next phase of the investigation, four addresses were raided resulting in an additional four arrests.

A second helicopter was impounded at a farm in the Sevilla area town of Utrera, with the craft in the process of being kitted out for narco flights.

Both choppers were bought by the gang in Eastern European and could each carry several passengers.

The traffickers removed the back seats to give them more capacity to store drugs with a maximum weight of close to 900 kilos.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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