Summary: Spanish police have seized 11 tonnes of cocaine imported by Balkan Drug Cartels in two major operations. This significant drug bust highlights the growing influence of Balkan mafias in drug trafficking, particularly in the transport of drugs from Latin America to Europe.
Spanish Police Intercept 11 Tonnes of Cocaine from Balkan Drug Cartels
The Spanish police announced the seizure of 11 tonnes of cocaine linked to Albanian criminal organizations in two separate operations. This seizure represents one of the largest drug busts in Galicia, a region known as a gateway for cocaine from Latin America into Europe.
Key details of the operations include:
- The first operation in Vigo led to the seizure of 7.5 tonnes of cocaine concealed in frozen tuna fillets. This was the largest seizure ever made in Galicia.
- The second operation in Valencia resulted in the seizure of 3.4 tonnes of cocaine hidden in the double bottoms of maritime containers.
- A total of twenty people were arrested in these operations, including Albanians, a Colombian, a Dominican, and several Spaniards. Among them was a Galician entrepreneur who used his fish import business to facilitate drug transport.
Antonio Martínez Duarte, head of the Central Brigade of the Spanish police’s Drugs and Organised Crime Unit, emphasized the importance of Balkan mafias, AKA the Balkan Drug Cartels in drug trafficking. He noted that these mafias have been monopolizing drug transport, establishing themselves in Latin America, and controlling the drug transport process from start to finish.
Carlos Gómez, head of the Central Drug Squad, pointed out a shift in cocaine trafficking control in Europe. The market has transitioned from hermetic, closed organizations like the old Colombian and Mexican cartels to more open, atomized, internationalized organizations. These new groups form criminal cooperatives to share resources, indicating a significant change in the dynamics of drug trafficking.
The drugs seized came from Colombia via Ecuador and were found in containers that had arrived in the ports of Vigo and Valencia. The two operations, though independent, both involved organizations believed to be of Albanian origin.
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