SPAIN – In a joint operation between Spanish and Colombian authorities, 620 kilograms of cocaine mixed with salt intended for animal feed was recently intercepted in Madrid, Spain

The operation resulted in the arrest of seven individuals, shedding light on a sophisticated drug smuggling network.

The seizure, carried out by the Customs Surveillance Officials of the Tax Agency, unveiled a disturbing trend in drug trafficking – the concealment of narcotics within seemingly innocuous cargo. 

The container, originating from Colombia and bound for the Port of Barcelona, ostensibly carried mineral salt for animal consumption. However, upon inspection, authorities discovered a clandestine cache of cocaine within the cargo.

The investigation commenced when authorities received intelligence regarding the suspicious shipment. On January 8, the Barcelona Customs Surveillance Operational Unit identified a container from Colombia, purportedly transporting 1,000 bags of salt. 

Upon closer examination, samples revealed the presence of cocaine discreetly mixed with the salt. Further scrutiny led to the discovery of 34 bags containing the illicit substance.

Utilizing court-sanctioned wiretaps, law enforcement intercepted communications that revealed the intended transfer of the contraband to a logistics warehouse in Madrid. 

A meticulously monitored delivery operation ensued, tracking the movement of the cargo from Barcelona to Madrid. On January 22, the merchandise was eventually delivered to a warehouse in Torrejón de Ardoz, where vigilant officials conducted surveillance.

The culmination of the operation saw the apprehension of six individuals directly involved in the smuggling operation. Among the detainees were individuals of Colombian and Ecuadorian origin, including a key figure believed to oversee the delivery process, colloquially referred to as the “notary.”

Following the arrests, authorities conducted searches at relevant locations, including the residence of the importing company’s administrator in San Cugat del Vallés. Seven suspects have been brought before the courts, with three remanded in custody and the remaining individuals released pending further investigation, albeit with travel restrictions.

The success of the operation underscores the collaborative efforts between Spanish and Colombian authorities in combating transnational drug trafficking. The vigilance and strategic interventions of law enforcement agencies have dealt a significant blow to criminal networks seeking to exploit legitimate trade channels for illicit activities.

Customs Surveillance officials from various regions, including Catalonia, Castilla La Mancha, and Madrid, alongside the Central Mobile Brigade of the General Subdirectorate of Operations, played instrumental roles in dismantling the smuggling syndicate.

The apprehension of those involved serves as a stark warning to would-be traffickers, reaffirming the unwavering commitment of authorities to safeguard communities from the pernicious effects of drug trafficking.

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