Linked to Mexican cartels, a criminal organization based in Spain introduced cocaine base in brown packages using mules. The drug was processed, packaged and silk-screened in two laboratories in Madrid. In addition, they grew large amounts of marijuana in greenhouses for later distribution. The National Police, in a joint operation with the Tax Agency's Customs Surveillance Service, has dismantled this gang, arresting 24 people in a device in which more than 200 agents have participated.
The investigation, which began at the end of 2020, has allowed the seizure of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana buds and 37 kilograms of cocaine. Two laboratories for the processing and distribution of the drug have been dismantled, and three submachine guns, several pistols and luxury goods worth more than six million euros have been seized.
In addition, as a result of the operation, European investigation orders and rogatory commissions have been issued to other countries, the Superior Headquarters of the Madrid National Police has reported.
It was at the end of 2020 when the arrival in Madrid of several Mexican citizens from Sinaloa was detected, who quickly settled in different luxury homes. Soon after, the agents observed that the new arrivals began to work in large marijuana plantations located in the province of Guadalajara, where they received repeated visits from people linked to drug trafficking.
With the progress of the investigations, the agents identified a family clan, linked to Mexican drug cartels, which had introduced more than ten million euros in cash and investment gold in Spain in order to settle. Those under investigation began to buy dozens of vehicles and luxury homes, as well as to acquire several businesses and set up companies whose purpose, as would later be proven, was to channel the profits obtained from the sale of narcotic substances. Likewise, the members of the organization did not hesitate to buy wills from different officials to help them settle down and obtain documentation.
Initially, the network based its business model on setting up companies in Spain, Portugal and Switzerland for the exploitation of cannabis crops. In this sense, they had marijuana plantations in different provinces of Spain, whose purpose was the extraction of products derived from CBD in laboratories in Switzerland and Portugal. After arduous efforts, the agents intervened 60 tons of plants, which motivated the organization to invest in new cultivation systems based on the creation of containers with intelligent software that would allow them to obtain harvests in less than three months. Some of the Mexican members of the criminal group tried to acquire this business for a significant sum of money, although the police actions frustrated them.
Subsequently, the investigators located several warehouses where the processed marijuana, which had been grown in large greenhouses of more than 4,000 square meters, was vacuum-packed and distributed by different means to buyers, hiding it in false bottoms of tables and other furniture that they sent. By parcel.
With the course of the investigation, the agents detected the arrival in Spain of people from South America, whom the organization used as mules to introduce cocaine base in brown packages. The drug was processed, packaged and screen-printed in two laboratories in the province of Madrid to sell it to people who came from Croatia and the Netherlands with whom they had previously closed deals. They also had other distribution networks through Chinese citizens and other vendors, located in different locations in Madrid, who even introduced the narcotic substance into prisons.
On the other hand, an overwhelming movement of capital has been proven. They constantly changed homes (all of them luxury) and dedicated themselves to the sale of jewelry and sports vehicles whose prices exceeded 500,000 euros. This was due to the laundering of the profits they illicitly obtained and, furthermore, it was a security measure to avoid being located in a specific area.
In the middle of last May, the agents carried out a police device in which more than 200 troops participated. The operation allowed the complete dismantling of the organization and the arrest of those responsible, locating a cocaine laboratory in the process of manufacturing more than 37 kilos of substance at the home of the leader of the network. During the operation, there was also the collaboration of the Local Police of the town of Algete.
Likewise, they carried out 13 records in different locations in Madrid (8) and Guadalajara (5), and eight inspections in the provinces of Madrid (5) and Malaga (3). As a result of the searches, the agents seized 1,000 kilos of marijuana buds, 37 kilos of cocaine, ten weapons, 105,116 euros in cash, as well as 17 vehicles and four homes (valued at seven million euros), among other effects. In addition, as a result of the operation, two laboratories for the processing of cocaine and two greenhouses for the cultivation of marijuana have been dismantled, and 20 bank accounts have been blocked.