In the last six years, the Information Service has carried out more than 97 operations against arms trafficking networks with the result of 448 people arrested, more than 4,871 firearms seized -many of them war weapons- and 609,802 bullets seized, 588kg of explosive substances, more than €709,000 in cash and 20 clandestine workshops dismantled.
The Civil Guard, together with the Slovak Police -National Crime Agency-, within the framework of the so-called “Leónidas” operation, has proceeded in Bratislava (Slovakia) to arrest a person resident in Granada who moved to Slovakia to try to acquire pistols, AK47-type assault rifles and ammunition for them, which he intended to transfer to Spain for sale on the illegal market.
The investigation began in 2021, when the Information Headquarters of Spanish police and the Slovak National Crime Agency launched a joint investigation -through Europol. Mulit agency cooperation allowed the identification of this Spanish citizen, with a police record for crimes, injuries and drug use. This person had initiated contacts and visited the country to negotiate the illegal acquisition of a significant number of weapons.
The investigation to which he was subjected in Spain revealed his links with drug trafficking organisations operating on the Costa del Sol and the province of Granada, to whom the weapons were found.
Once the trip to Bratislava was confirmed, the Slovak police proceeded to arrest him at the time he was going to collect the weapons. They have also intervened both the vehicle with double bottoms in which he intended to transfer the weapons to Spain, as well as a significant amount of cash that he had hidden in it to pay for the weapons.
In a coordinated and simultaneous manner to said arrest, in Spain Granada Information agents have registered his home, where they have seized two kilos of hashish and marijuana, as well as different computer devices and documentation for study.
The assault rifles that he intended to acquire have the capacity for automatic fire and high firepower, and are classified as weapons of war, thus being one of the types of weapons most in demand by criminal organisations.
The detainee after being placed at the disposal of the judicial authorities of Bratislava (Slovakia) entered prison for arms trafficking.
The Civil Guard, within the framework of the TURIA operation, has managed to dismantle one of the most active criminal organizations with regard to the introduction of large consignments of narcotics through the main Spanish seaports destined for Europe.
The investigation began more than a year ago, when the Civil Guard, through its Central Operational Unit (UCO), focused its efforts on the criminal activity of the main ports of our country, given the proliferation of different seizures of cocaine, Many of them follow the same criminal pattern.
In this way, already in April of last year, the Organized Crime Teams (ECOs) of the Central Operational Unit based in Alicante and Pontevedra, prevented the departure of 300 kilograms of cocaine from the Port of Valencia, proceeding to the arrest of 3 people, who, using a vehicle authorized to operate in that port, extracted the described substance from a container, hidden in a container coming from Brazil by the well-known method of “blind hook” or “lost hook”.
Ambitious international police operation.
As a result of this intervention and all the information obtained from it and other previous ones, an ambitious international police operation was launched, with the full involvement of the Civil Guard together with the Brazilian, North American and Belgian authorities, as well as EUROPOL.
During this time, all the participating Bodies and Agencies have managed to create a rigorous work team through several coordination meetings in different countries, which has allowed them to meet and identify the main leaders of this important criminal network, from Dubai ( UAE) to Brazil, as well as the seizure, in different interventions, of more than 3,900 kilograms of cocaine in Spain alone, all of them carried out by the Civil Guard within this work team.
TURIA-TURFE operation; Simultaneous performances in Spain and Brazil
In this way, this week the final phase of this important operation has been carried out, acting simultaneously and in a coordinated manner in Spain and Brazil, for which UCO agents have been transferred to that country, as well as Brazilian agents. and EUROPOL have done it to Spain, achieving the total dismantling of the investigated organization.
As far as Spain is concerned, 7 people related to these events have been arrested, 4 of them in the province of Barcelona in 5 searches carried out, 400 kilograms of cocaine having been seized in an industrial warehouse inside a maritime container coming from Brazil and arriving at the port of Barcelona. In addition, as a result of one of the searches, an indoor marijuana plantation with more than 300 plants has been intervened, as well as several high-end vehicles, encrypted mobile phone devices of great interest for research, jewelry and the blocking of more than 20 bank accounts of different companies linked to this criminal group, created to facilitate the importation of drugs and the transfer of money.
High Value Targets for Europol (HVT)
Simultaneously, the Brazilian Federal Police, in what they have called operation TURFE and in which agents from the Central Operational Unit transferred to that country for that purpose have participated, have proceeded to carry out 30 house searches, producing in some of them intense exchanges of fire with the police, as well as the arrest of 20 people, among which are several High Value Targets (HVT) for the European agency.
The operation has been carried out by the Civil Guard through its Organized Crime Teams (ECO’s) and the Central Anti-Drug Group, both belonging to the Central Operational Unit, together with the US DEA, the Brazilian Federal Police and from Belgium also EUROPOL, all directed by the Central Investigating Court number 1 and the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, both of the National High Court.