2 May, 2024 @ 16:09
2 mins read

WATCH: Narco crackdown in Marbella: Restaurant and yacht are raided in Puerto Banus and 14 people are arrested for ‘trafficking drugs from Spain to Europe’

A MAJOR international drug trafficking organisation which allegedly employed Colombian sicarios and dealt with German Hell’s Angels gangs was run out of a restaurant in Puerto Banus. 

The group, which police say operated between Jerez de la Frontera, Estepona and Marbella, is said to have smuggled hundreds of kilos of hashish disguised in shipments of lemons into Germany via lorry.

A joint police operation between Spanish, German, and French law enforcement carried out 28 simultaneous raids across Spain (10) and Germany (18) and made 14 arrests.

They seized over €180,000 in cash, seven firearms and 30 kilos of marijuana, among other items.

READ MORE: WATCH: Wanted ‘ex-Hell’s Angels boss’ is found ‘operating his narco empire’ among the expat community in Spain: Police seize gun, axe, fake IDs and more at Costa del Sol home

The alleged gang leaders – two Germans of Iranian and Moroccan origin – would use their restaurant to hold meetings with fellow narcos.

A team of armed Colombian bodyguards were constantly on hand to dissuade rival gangs from trying to rob them, police claimed.

They also had a yacht docked in Marbella where authorities believe the suspects held discreet meetings with other drug traffickers.

The investigation began in December 2022 following the arrest of three individuals (of Colombian and Albanian origin) in the French town of Dax. 

The suspects, currently in provisional prison in France, were found with €382,000 in cash hidden in a vehicle.

French authorities’ investigations revealed that the seized money was destined for the leaders of a criminal organisation, presumed to be involved in international drug trafficking, based in Marbella. 

Connections to Germany, the destination country for the drugs transported by road from Spain, were also established. 

READ MORE: WATCH: Moment British drug lord dubbed the ‘Wikipedia Narco’ was arrested in Spain: Police brought down ‘€10m empire’ after seizing a tonne of cocaine – plus 44 cars, 40 Rolexes and 60 works of art

This prompted the formation of a joint investigation team between the three countries – Spain, France, and Germany.

Following various police investigations, several drug seizures occurred last summer originating from the province of Cadiz. 

In June 2023, 140 kilos of hash was seized, divided into three shipments confiscated from a company in Jerez de la Frontera bound for another company in Germany. 

Additionally, 450 kilos of hash – hidden among boxes of lemons – were seized in a truck intercepted in Germany and originating from Murcia. 

Finally, another 400 kilos of the same drug were located in the warehouse where the truck was to unload its cargo.

In light of the seizures and through several European Investigation Orders (EIOs) issued by Germany requesting various measures, surveillance of the suspects was stepped up.

In Malaga province police staked out suspects in Puerto Banus, San Pedro de Alcántara, and Estepona, while in Cadiz they surveilled individuals in Sanlucar de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera.

As a result, the agents identified the organisation’s base of operations, which they said turned out to be the Puerto Banus restaurant run by the organisation’s leaders, and the yacht docked in Marbella.

The investigation also uncovered the organisation’s ties to prominent members of the Hells Angels MC biker gang – both German and Spanish chapters – as well as individuals of Albanian and Bulgarian origin, all with a history of drug trafficking.

The organisation’s modus operandi for transporting drugs to Germany involved concealing the drugs in concealed compartments in both vehicles and trucks. 

To avoid detection, the suspects would also change the location of the stash houses between Marbella, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Utrera Sevilla.

At the end of April, the operation was carried out simultaneously in Spain and Germany. As a result, eight people were arrested in Spain – two in Marbella, five in Estepona, and one in the province of Seville – and two in Germany. 

These arrests are in addition to the three arrests made in France in December 2022 and a fourth person in Germany in October 2023.

Spanish officers of the Policia Nacional travelled to Wiesbaden and German investigators went to Malaga as part of the international collaboration. 

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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