The Civil Guard, within the framework of the PÓLVORA operation, has dismantled a criminal organisation that introduced large amounts of hashish on the coasts of Malaga and Cádiz. 40 people have been arrested and 5,770 kilos of hashish have been seized, as well as 17,250 packs of tobacco, In addition, 268,000 euros, 2 short weapons and a shotgun, as well as a drone, communication material and abundant documentation have also been discovered. The operation began last April, when the Civil Guard intervened 2,675 kilos of hashish in a nursery. In that action, 2 people were arrested and 6 cargo cars that had been previously stolen were recovered. From that moment on, the Civil Guards began to learn about the organisation’s operation.
The new organisations dedicated to drug trafficking in the Campo de Gibraltar has changed in recent times, currently they are assimilated to subcontracted companies within a business network. Thus, the network investigated in Operation Gunpowder would be in charge of carrying out all the tasks related to the introduction of large consignments of hashish that are carried out on the mainland, that is, the collection of the narcotic substance after it has been disposed of on the coast, transfer to drug nurseries and subsequent distribution. The dismantled organization introduced large amounts of drugs and tobacco, even detecting the Civil Guard that a week they could introduce about 6 tons of hashish. To get to those levels, the group relied on being a great connoisseur of stash areas. On the other hand, it was detected that the modus operandi most used by the organization in its caches on the Puente-Mayorga and Guadarranque beach consisted of the use of small inflatable boats that a large group of people launched to carry out a transshipment of bales of hashish resin, from the powerful boats that cross the Strait to the cargo vehicles. They alternated caches of hashish and smuggled tobacco
It should be noted that throughout the investigation it has been possible to demonstrate that the organization alternated stash of hashish resin bales with stash of smuggled tobacco boxes, reusing the same work crews on the beach. In fact, they took advantage of the confusion generated, sometimes during a performance, by not being able to guarantee whether it was a cache of drugs or a cache of smuggled tobacco boxes. Upon knowing both the people in the network, as well as their relationship with the seized caches, the Court of Instruction number 1 of San Roque 31.
Records in the towns of La Línea, San Roque, Algeciras, Manilva and Málaga, in which 300 agents from the Commanderies of Algeciras and Málaga, as well as OCON-SUR, CRAIN and GAR participated. In one of the searches, 50,000 euros in cash was found in the school bag of the daughter, a minor, of one of the detainees, and later another 150,000 euros were found under the mattress in the main bedroom, which the owner of the house alleged that were the result of their savings.
The Civil Guard, in the so-called Lambo operation, has arrested 5 people, immobilizing 6 buildings and seizing various assets. The operation has been aimed at laundering money from drug trafficking of the well-known Titi clan. Last year the Cluster operation was carried out, also directed against the Titi clan for money laundering from drug trafficking. At that time, the Civil Guard arrested 20 people and attributed to the organization properties valued at 6 million euros.
The Civil Guard has continued to work against this organization in Operation Lambo, with the intention of pursuing the assets of the organization obtained through the financing obtained with the profits of the hashish drug trafficking. As a result of these two operations, the Civil Guard has managed to get to know the members of the organization who continued to acquire goods for their use that were supposedly acquired by other people. Researchers from the OCON-SUR Money Laundering Group estimate that the money laundered would be around 800,000 euros. There have been 6 entries and registrations in La Línea and Manilva. In the operation of the operation, 6 people have been arrested and 6 buildings, 3 boats and 5 vehicles have been seized. The Lambo operation is one of the 160 operations that the Civil Guard has developed in 2021 related to money laundering from drug trafficking, included in the Carteia Plan. So far this year the accumulated economic impact within the aforementioned Plan amounts to more than 260 million euros. The Civil Guard has seized, only in cash, until the beginning of December more than 50 million euros and about 200 million between movable and immovable property seized from drug trafficking organizations.
The Civil Guard, in which it has been called Operation MVRAND, has dismantled one of the most important criminal organizations in relation to the introduction of narcotics in Europe, as well as money laundering. A total of 17 people have been arrested, 11 of them of Spanish nationality and 6 Moroccan, in the 16 searches that have been carried out in the provinces of Barcelona, Pontevedra and Cádiz. Among the detainees is the leader of this organization and the main objective of the operation, FAA, a Moroccan citizen who is considered directly responsible in our country for the introduction of 4,300 kilograms of hashish in San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia) and 1,800 kilograms of cocaine on the Galician coasts, both in 2021, appearing as a target of interest also for the main international anti-drug trafficking agencies. In addition, he is considered responsible for the introduction of 1,004 kilograms of cocaine on the El Jadida coast of Morocco in December 2018, for which two of the detainees in this operation had an International Detention Order in force.
Supplier of “Los Castaña” and “Messi”
The investigation began in early 2020 by the Central Anti-Drug Group of the Central Operational Unit, considering FAA as the main supplier of hashish from Morocco to the peninsula, supplying drugs to the main Spanish hashish trafficking clans, among them “ The Chestnuts ”and“ Messi ”. Similarly, through the communication channels with Europol, the Civil Guard was alerted that several international investigations that were being carried out with encrypted telephony servers pointed to the FAA as a high-value target in international cocaine trafficking . African cocaine route, taking advantage of his extensive experience in trafficking hashish from Morocco to the peninsula, where he had a large network of rubber-type boats and an enormous logistics distribution network, he began to traffic cocaine using the classic methods established for the introduction of hashish. In this way, the FAA ended up taking over the logistics of transporting cocaine to Spain from Africa and through transfers on the high seas, also using “nursery” type warehouses located in Morocco and thus consolidating the rise of the African Route of cocaine trafficking. , increasingly used by different criminal organizations.
After almost two years of investigation, in which means and personnel from the different and more sophisticated units of the Civil Guard have been deployed, the investigators have managed to obtain sufficient evidence to dismantle this family clan, which was based in Barcelona leading a life and routines of the simplest, nothing to do with the ostentation they showed on their vacations and luxury trips outside their area of residence, such as with very high-level yacht, hotel and vehicle rentals, or even with the use of watches from some of the most exclusive brands with personalized limited series of up to € 800,000.
Five mobile phones on at the same time, at the time of his arrest, F.A.A was caught in the living room of his house with five mobile phone devices connected and two notebooks, coordinating different operations at sea. Another of the detainees, upon noticing the police presence, escaped through the façade of a building in the Barcelona neighborhood of Poble Sec, deploying an extensive device by the Civil Guard, including with aerial means, until the escapee was arrested.
Inhibitors, detonating pistols, satellite phones, various encrypted communication devices, as well as various establishments through which the proceeds of criminal activity were laundered have also been intervened, having blocked accoun ts, real estate and various assets abroad.
The operation has been carried out by the Central Anti-drug Group of the Central Operative Unit of the Civil Guard and the Delegate Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office of Campo de Gibraltar, coordinated by the Mixed Court number 2 of San Roque (Cádiz), which has ordered the All the detainees were admitted to prison, except for three who had already been released in Barcelona at the disposal of the aforementioned Court.
The operation has resulted in the arrest of 11 people, including the head of the organization as well as their families, in addition to blocking 9 legal entities More than 3 million euros in cash, fishing boats, real estate, blocked financial products and vehicles have been intervened The leader of the organization bought a local soccer club, about to disappear due to economic bankruptcy, through injections of black money
The Civil Guard intervenes more than 3 million euros in a criminal organization dedicated to money laundering from drug trafficking
The Civil Guard, within the framework of the “Talofita” operation, carried out in the province of Cádiz, has proceeded to dismantle a criminal organization dedicated to money laundering from drug trafficking. In the operation, more than 3 million euros have been immobilized between mercantile companies, real estate, cash, fishing boats, blocked accounts and intervened vehicles. 11 people have been arrested, including the leader of the organization known as “DORO” and his closest environment, who were lending themselves as front men to camouflage the organization’s assets. 9 legal entities have also been immobilized.
5 simultaneous house searches have been carried out in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Chipiona, where 11 real estate properties, 2 trawling fishing boats, cash, 24 vehicles have been intervened, more than 40 financial products have been blocked between bank accounts deposits, safe deposit boxes, funds investment and abundant documentation. The investigation began when the Civil Guard learned of an alleged money laundering crime committed by members of a criminal organization that would have spent years laundering huge amounts of money of dubious origin. Continuing with the investigations, the agents were able to determine that the organization was led by a well-known personage in Sanlúcar, with a history of drug trafficking, and his wife, the daughter of a historical drug trafficker in the area known as “el Acuático.”
These two people would be in charge of an entire financial and business network whose sole objective would be to launder large amounts of money of illicit origin through a complex network of companies. At the head of the companies, the criminal organization placed relatives and close people until they constituted a complex corporate network, in the case of establishing companies with a minimum capital and in a short time multiplying it exponentially, without carrying out apparent commercial activities.
It should be noted that a family member of the leader, who had not carried out paid activities since 2012 and without declared income, in 2017 bought a fishing boat worth more than € 440,000, being also granted a loan by a local bank in more than € 200,000. In the same way, it is the owner of several financial products, including bank accounts, investment funds and securities, for an amount of more than half a million euros.
Another significant case is that of another relative of one of his trusted men, who despite being a pensioner, became a promoter of musical events, where a concert was held in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in which a well-known American singer from reggaeton and Latin trap, for an amount of more than € 900,000 paid at a loss by the investigated companies. Likewise, in 2017 a sports club that was in bankruptcy was rescued by the leader of the organization, appointing himself as president and making capital injections to clean up the club’s accounts and start all kinds of works. The operation has been promoted by the Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, executed by the Money Laundering Team of the Cádiz Civil Guard Command and directed by the Examining Court No. 3 of Sanlúcar.
In 2020, Europol created the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) to increase synergies between economic and financial investigations and to strengthen its ability to support law enforcement authorities in effectively combating this major criminal threat.
Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organised crime forms. Europol also works with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.