FBI And 600 Cops Worldwide Smash Drug Lords International Coke Trafficking And Money Laundering Network
The FBI along with nearly 600 investigators worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, have smashed a drug lord’s international cocaine-trafficking and money-laundering network and arrested 45 people.
The police said that the drug lord’s operation had “flooded Europe with cocaine” and arrests have been made in Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia and the United Kingdom.
The Spanish Guardia Civil said that it had arrested eight people on its territory, in Majorca and in the Catalan capital Barcelona in north-eastern Spain, after approximately four years of investigations.
The police said that the organisation, which they say has now been dismantled, imported cocaine from South America and smuggled it into Europe through various ports, thus ensuring that they controlled the “entire drug supply chain”.
The Spanish police said that they had discovered a “complex corporate structure aimed at money-laundering from drug trafficking”.
Spanish police said that the operation, with investigations beginning in 2018, saw cooperation from law enforcement agencies all over the world, including from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
The drug traffickers smuggled the drugs into European ports before transporting them onwards using aeroplanes, boats, lorries and cars, with the police saying that this is how the criminals managed to control “the entire supply chain, from origin to final destination”.
The cops also said that Spain was not the only country that was used to “launder the profits from this illicit trade”. While the organisation’s “complex corporate structure” was “based in Majorca”, it also reportedly had similar structures set up in Germany and in Croatia.
The organisation’s members “frequently travelled to Dubai, Mexico and Colombia to organise their illicit businesses, also using encrypted communication tools to coordinate their criminal activities”.
The police said that investigators all over the world, notably with the assistance of EUROPOL, participated in the investigations and subsequent raids, with a total of 580 “members of the security forces” of participating countries taking part in the case.
The operation was given a boost when 440 kilogrammes of cocaine were seized by the authorities in Barcelona in January 2020, leading to the arrest of four Albanian citizens, in an operation that benefited from the assistance of the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
An unspecified quantity of drugs was also seized in Belgium in September 2020, during which over 2,500 kilogrammes of chemical products used in the transformation and production of cocaine were seized.
The Spanish police said that raids had been carried out in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, and the United Kingdom as well.
In total, eight people have been detained in Spain, 30 people have been detained in Belgium, one person has been investigated in Italy, two people have been detained in Croatia, two people have been investigated in Germany, and two people have been arrested in the Netherlands.
It is currently unclear if further arrests can be expected in connection with this case.