Monday, September 25

Dismantled a network that manufactured unmanned underwater drones capable of crossing the Strait with drugs

Agents of the National Police have dismantled an organization allegedly dedicated to drug trafficking on a medium scale and to the manufacture of drones and semi-submersibles capable of crossing the Strait with a load of up to 200 kilos of narcotics on board. Eight people have been arrested, of whom six have been imprisoned.

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As explained by the National Police, they built these vehicles by hand, in addition to making double bottoms or “heating” other means of transport to hide narcotics, having all kinds of criminal organizations as clients and carrying out their activity from different industrial warehouses in Castellar of the Border (Cadiz).

In addition, of the eight people arrested in the municipalities of Cádiz, Málaga and Barcelona for drug trafficking crimes and belonging to a criminal organization, 145 kilos of hashish, eight kilos of marijuana, 157,370 euros, ten vehicles and six large drones have been seized. size with up to 12 motors and autonomy for 30 kilometers in the eight registers practiced in the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz and Barcelona.

This is the first time that this type of vehicle has been intervened, which operates underwater without a crew on board, called unmanned underwater vehicles or UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle), known as “submarine drones”. Specifically three, two of them in the manufacturing phase and one practically completed, which were to be delivered to French drug traffickers for the transport of large quantities of cocaine.

Suppliers of European gangs and mafias

Once the investigation began in April of last year and as a result of numerous monitoring and surveillance, the existence of a group whose criminal activity had other criminal organizations of all kinds as clients was confirmed.

Those investigated built artisanal means of transport focused on facilitating their criminal objective or carried out double funds or coves in cars or trailers to hide drugs. Specifically, they developed large drones with load capacity, as well as unmanned semi-submersibles capable of holding between 150 and 200 kilos of cargo. Among other uses, these devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large amounts of drugs remotely across the Strait of Gibraltar.

The investigations lasted for 14 months, during which time it was found out how these individuals provided logistical services to all kinds of criminal organizations, detecting clients from countries such as Italy, France or Denmark, or members of other gangs in the national territory. settled in Catalonia, the Costa del Sol, Campo de Gibraltar or Ceuta.

France and Northern Europe

Given the international nature of the contacts they maintained, a close collaboration was established with the French National Police, since a significant number of these vehicles with double funds headed, once loaded with drugs, to the neighboring country.

In addition, linked to this operation, it has been possible to identify several Moroccan and Danish citizens who would be sending significant amounts of hashish from southern Spain to northern Europe destined for criminal organizations of North African origin known as Mocro-maffia.

The investigators detected up to 13 vehicles of different types that would have had double bottoms to hide and transport drugs, some of them manufactured inside trailers and capable of holding up to 800 kilos. Four of these vehicles have been intervened, achieving the apprehension of 145 kilograms of hashish and eight of marijuana.

Specifically, one of these transports was intercepted when it was on its way to Denmark aboard a tow truck with the intention of avoiding possible police controls, with 218 hashish tablets inside a cove.

Drones with 30 kilometers of autonomy

The operation concluded with the arrest of eight people in Ceuta (one), Malaga (two) and Cádiz (five) and the carrying out of eight searches of homes and industrial buildings in different municipalities of the three aforementioned provinces, where significant sums have been intervened of cash amounting to 157,370 euros, ten vehicles and six drones equipped with up to twelve engines and with a range of more than 30 kilometers, amounting to more than 50,000 euros.

Six of the detainees, who are accused of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organization, have been remanded in custody.