Officers from the National Police, in a joint operation with the French OFAST and the Colombian National Police, have dismantled an organisation that intended to introduce a large quantity of sugar-impregnated cocaine into Spain.
Five people have been arrested in Madrid -three of them had travelled from Colombia to establish a laboratory for the extraction of the drug- and two in Barcelona, a mother and her son who made contact with the former during their stay in Spain.
22 tons of sugar contaminated with cocaine have been seized in a container that left Colombia with final destination in the French port of L’Havre and was intercepted by the French Police in a warehouse outside Paris. The “sugar” operation has resulted in the arrest of a total of 18 people -7 in Spain, 10 in France and 1 in Dubai, where the alleged leader of the drug trafficking organisation was located.
Last March, agents of the UDYCO CENTRAL of the National Police, in coordination with the French authorities of OFAST, began an investigation into a group of Colombian and Franco-Algerian citizens who intended to introduce a large shipment of sugar-impregnated cocaine into Europe and proceed to its extraction in a clandestine laboratory that they would establish in Spain.
The agents found out that several members of said organisation were going to travel from Colombia to Spain to establish a cocaine laboratory and receive a container of sugar contaminated with the drug. The merchandise arrived from Colombia to France on April 12 and the OFAST of the French Police controlled the movements of the container while it was in that country. In parallel, agents of the National Police investigated the Colombians displaced to Spain, achieving the identification of other members of the organisation who were in our country and until that moment were unknown to the investigators.
A laboratory in Spain to separate cocaine from sugar
In mid-March, the arrival at Madrid Barajas airport of three members of the organisation was detected. It was the leader’s confidant, along with his son and another Colombian citizen, the chemist in charge of the process of contaminating sugar with cocaine in Colombia. In addition, another member of the network was detected, a well-known cocaine “cook” who was allegedly going to direct the cocaine hydrochloride extraction operations in Spain. All of them would have travelled to Spain with the intention of establishing a clandestine laboratory for the production of narcotic substances in order to extract the cocaine impregnated in the sugar container. The agents detected that these people had settled in Catalonia, where they changed their accommodation on numerous occasions, among other security measures to avoid detection. In Barcelona, a mother and her son, of Colombian origin, acted as contact for the Colombians during their stay in Spain.
The head of the organisation directed the operation from Dubai
On May 3, the Colombians displaced to Catalonia had returned to Madrid. Two days later, French police intercepted the sugar container in France, in a warehouse outside Paris. Simultaneously, agents of the National Police arrested in Madrid the five members of the organisation of Colombian origin, in charge of extracting the drug in the laboratory. Likewise, the main priority objective, head of said organisation, who coordinated and directed the operation from Dubai, was arrested. The next day, the mother and son were arrested in Terrasa (Barcelona), allegedly in charge of receiving the container, as well as the establishment in Spain of the laboratory for the extraction of cocaine.
The results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the merchandise seized in France are awaited.