Agents of the Civil Guard, in a joint operation with the National Police, have dismantled in the province of Barcelona the first laboratory in Spain created for the processing and treatment of hashish on a large scale. A total of 13 people who made up a criminal organisation dedicated to international drug trafficking have been arrested and a total of 12 searches have been carried out in different locations in the province of Barcelona.
During the searches, two hashish processing laboratories and one for the production of synthetic drugs have been dismantled, in which narcotic substances, cash and firearms have been seized. The organisation took advantage of the logistical capacity it had created around the distribution of hashish to receive shipments of synthetic drugs from South America and distribute the narcotics in the rest of Europe.
The investigation began in January 2022 when investigators detected the existence, in the Barcelona municipality of Castellar del Vallès, of a warehouse in which an important activity related to drug trafficking could be being carried out. Both bodies had the focus on a group, which is why a joint team was created to join forces and share the intelligence obtained, giving rise to Operation Pompey-Mars.
In a first operation at the beginning of the year, two shipments with 25 kilograms of marijuana were intercepted, hidden in a truck along with a shipment of medical supplies, when it tried to cross the border with France at La Jonquera. In February, another truck was intercepted in Cádiz that had previously been in the warehouse under investigation with 54 kilos of hashish hidden in the wheels, the final destination of both shipments being the Castellar del Vallès warehouse.
Later, in April, the Mexican authorities detected a shipment from South America to the investigated ship of almost 50 kilograms of MDMA, revealing that this organization acquired and distributed various types of drugs, taking advantage of the infrastructure and great logistical deployment that they had. .
At the beginning of June, the organization sent a pallet of cava boxes through an external legal transport company. The security measures used during the shipment process made the joint investigation team suspicious, so 21.61 kg of marijuana buds destined for Germany were intercepted and discovered. Along with the cargo, a hidden tracking beacon had been installed to keep the merchandise under control at all times.
Final phase of exploitation
On June 9, a large joint device was carried out between both police forces, using specialised intervention units, due to the dangerousness of some of the members of the organisation. A total of 12 records were made in the Barcelona towns of Castellar del Vallès, Sabadell, Vic, Granollers, Badalona and Santa Eulàlia de Ronçana.
During the police action, 710 kilograms of marijuana, 1.51 kilos of hashish, 2.5 kilograms of hashish pollen, 4.46 kilos of cocaine, 1,305 marijuana plants, €140,000 euros in cash, two revolvers, a replica rifle, a high-end armored vehicle and an electronic device to detect tracking beacons.
Located two laboratories for the treatment and processing of hashish and another to produce MDMA
Among the searches carried out in Santa Eulàlia de Ronçana, a laboratory was located to produce synthetic drugs, specifically MDMA, and in the one carried out in the Castellar del Vallés warehouse, the origin of the investigation, the organization had a complex laboratory for the treatment and processing of large amounts of hashish, being the first of these characteristics located in Spain. In the course of the operation, a total of 13 people were arrested, of which six were imprisoned.