Seven people have been arrested after the Guardia Civil busted a hashish trafficking organization based in Melilla, following an investigation which lasted almost a year.
The investigation into the group smuggling hashish into the Mediterranean coastal area of Spain from the north African coast was carried out by the Guardia in Tarragona and Melilla, and centred on the attempts to identify those whose role was to ensure that the shipments arrived on the mainland without attracting the attention of security forces.
The first result of the investigation took place on 11th June, when a zodiac launch was detected by the Guardia Civil vessel “Río Miño” on its way to the Málaga coast. As soon as those on board became aware that they were being followed they began to throw their cargo overboard and attempted to take evasive action, but officers eventually boarded and found 76 bundles of hashish weighing 2,300 kilos.
All of those on board were arrested, but the information was not made public at the time as the investigation of the infrastructure behind the shipment was still continuing. As a result of further discoveries five more arrests were eventually made in Madrid, Alicante, Valencia and Melilla, where the man believed to be the ringleader of the whole operation was based.
It has since come to light that what the Guardia Civil found was that the Melilla man who masterminded the operation supplied drug traffickers with high-speed boats, modified in order to carry their illegal cargoes and piloted by experienced seamen from Galicia, who were used to adverse sea conditions. In addition he also guaranteed collaboration from certain members of local police forces in Spain who were prepared to turn a blind eye to possible illegal drugs shipments arriving on the coast.
As well as more than two tons of hashish the Guardia Civil also confiscated three motor vehicles and two high-speed boats in the course of their operation. All seven of the arrested are Spanish nationals, and their case is now being looked into by the national courts: further arrests have not been ruled out as yet.
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