220 kilograms of cocaine seized and immobilized more than 4 million euros in a major anti-drug operation carried out in Galicia

On an agricultural and livestock farm in the province of Pontevedra, a large part of the confiscated drugs have been seized, hidden in a zulo that is very difficult to access. For these events, 10 people have been arrested, many of them with family ties and related to drug trafficking for years. The investigation has been directed by the Central Court of Instruction No. 6 of the National Court and by the Special Anti-drug Prosecutor

The Spanish Civil Guard, within the framework of the CARPLAYA operation, has dismantled an active criminal organization centered in Galicia, specializing in the transport of cocaine between different parts of the national territory and Portugal, using vehicles equipped with sophisticated concealment systems.

The investigation, carried out by the Central Operative Unit of the Civil Guard, began in April of last year after learning of the possible existence, thanks to the international collaboration of the Civil Guard on drug trafficking, of a robust network criminal settled mainly in the Autonomous Community of Galicia, but with intense criminal activity in different Spanish provinces, and even in various areas of Portugal.

Clandestine workshop in Vigo key in the logistics used

In the course of the operation, as the different objectives were being defined, the agents were able to corroborate how some of those investigated transported indeterminate amounts of drugs hidden in vehicles, without the support of other security vehicles to avoid police checks or any other another incidence as usual in these modus operandi, which put the investigators on the track of the possible existence of sophisticated concealment systems inside them.

This line of investigation led the agents to a clandestine workshop located in the city of Vigo (Pontevedra), whose manager has turned out to be a fundamental actor in the logistics used by the now dismantled organization.

Known family ties linked to drug trafficking

The criminal group investigated was strongly cohesive, since a large part of its members were united by family and criminal ties that have lasted over time, having previous experience in this criminal typology, as well as in the use of encrypted messaging technology in their communications, inhibition systems and state-of-the-art radio frequency detectors.

High standard of living with societies in a serious state of deficit

On the other hand, it has been very relevant for researchers to verify the high standard of living of many of its members, even without having any known legal economic income or property, but different societies in a serious state of declared deficit.

Despite this, those investigated frequently acquired high-end vehicles, all kinds of furniture for homes in the name of spouses or relatives, as well as exclusive trips, which led to an exhaustive economic and patrimonial analysis of the main members of this organization and of their companies, allowing all of this to be charged with other crimes such as money laundering.

Importance of attacking the economic and financial elements that sustain criminal organizations

Historically, the set of this type of criminal activities, are deeply rooted in certain population areas, emerging in them an underground economy that has generated corporate networks and economic activities of different kinds, which are directly and indirectly nourished by the benefits obtained. of drug trafficking, with a priority objective for investigators being to eradicate the economic and financial apparatuses that these criminal organizations, well established in the northwest of the peninsula and in other areas of our country, support.

Last Wednesday, the exploitation phase of the investigation was carried out, proceeding to the arrest of 10 people, who are charged with the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, against public health and money laundering, as well as 15 records that were made in the provinces of Pontevedra and Lugo.

Overall, the CARPLAYA operation has resulted in the intervention of 220 kilograms of cocaine, 2.5 kg of hashish, €640,000 in bills of various denominations, 8 vehicles, frequency jammers, radio frequency detection systems (rackets), documentation related to the illegal investigations and terminals with encrypted communication systems. In the economic part, more than 4 million euros have been immobilized between commercial companies, real estate, boats, and blocked bank accounts.

Agricultural and livestock farm in Pontevedra

As relevant information, in one of the properties registered in Pontevedra, most of the seized narcotic substance was found, being hidden in an underground hole set up for this purpose, making its finding very difficult for the agents given its sophisticated burial system.

The investigation has been carried out by the Organized Crime Team based in Galicia of the Central Operative Unit of the Civil Guard, with the collaboration of Europol in the development of the investigations.

The device of the exploitation phase, has had the participation of more than 250 agents from different units of the Civil Guard, including the Rapid Action Group (GAR), the Reserve and Security Groups of Valencia and León, Cynological Service Central, Fiscal Section of Melilla and various units of the Commands of Pontevedra, Lugo and Melilla.