Major $ 732.6 Million Cocaine Seizure Reported in UK and Spain
The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) has seized three tons of cocaine, worth half a billion British pounds sterling (US$ 732.6 million) and arrested seven British suspects, reported The Sun.
Five other suspects--two Spanish and three Dutch--were arrested in raids coordinated with Spanish authorities. The raids took place in mid-December but were only made public this week in accordance with Spanish law, according to the BBC.
Police believe the Dutch sold the drugs to the Britons, while the Spanish suspects were responsible for transport.
The traffickers met in the Costa del Sol region of Spain last month where they agreed to pay € 500,000 (US$ 537,340) for the first 700 kg shipments of the drug, which was smuggled from Colombia across the Atlantic to Spain.
When the drugs arrived in northern Spain, they were stored by the traffickers in a warehouse in Pontevedra. The criminals planned to transport the haul by car across Europe before crossing the channel by ferry into the UK.
The packages were stamped with Real Madrid and MasterChef logos, used to code the destination of the drugs, and meant to be divided up among British organized crime groups, police said.
The cocaine haul was seized in Galicia in northwest Spain, according to the Tico Times.
Spanish police confiscated € 1.2 million (US$ 1.28 million) from one of the smuggler’s vans along with £ 1,120 (US$ 1,641), and two Glock 9 mm pistols.
The cocaine bust was the largest in nearly two decades, Spanish police told the BBC.