DrugsNewsOrganised Crime

An international gang has been broken up

Officers from the Carpathian Border Guard Unit, CBŚP, together with the Spanish services of the Policia National and Guardia Civil, defeated an organized criminal group operating in Poland and Spain. The group could smuggle even 1.2 tons of marijuana to Poland, worth almost PLN 24 million. The investigation on the Polish side is supervised by the Malopolska State Prosecutor’s Office, and international activities were coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

9 people were detained, 2 cannabis plantations with 1,400 bushes were liquidated, and drugs were seized. The property of the suspects was secured in the amount of over PLN 22 million, incl. luxury villas in Spain. Some of the suspects are related to the milieu of hooligans of one of Krakow’s sports clubs. The findings so far show that the criminal group was involved in smuggling marijuana from Spain to Poland and placing it on the market.

The detainees are Polish citizens aged 30 to 45, living both in Poland and in Spain on a daily basis. According to investigators, the group operated in 2016-2021. As part of the investigation, a team consisting of officers of the Carpathian Border Guard Department and the Management Board of the Central Investigation Bureau of the Police was appointed, while the proceedings are supervised by the Małopolska Branch of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow.

Recently, activities with the participation of Polish officers were carried out in Spain. Policia National from Denia and Guardia Civil from Valencia, assisted by policemen from the Management Board in Krakow of the Central Investigation Bureau of the Police, detained 5 Polish citizens, including 3 wanted by European Arrest Warrants issued by a Polish court at the request of the Małopolska National Prosecutor’s Office.

During the searches, 2 marijuana plantations were discovered with a total of 1,400 cannabis bushes in various stages of growth and 25 kg of finished drug, cash was also secured.

At the same time, officers from the Carpathian Border Guard Unit and policemen from CBŚP in Poland carried out activities in the following provinces: Małopolskie, Śląskie and Dolnośląskie. 4 suspects of participation in an organized crime group were arrested. There were also searches during which documents, electronic equipment were secured, as well as over 5.5 kg of hashish and 4 liters of liquid amphetamine, which could be used to obtain 16 kg of powdered drug, over 3 kg of marijuana. The value of the drugs seized is nearly half a million zlotys. Cash was also secured in the amount of over PLN 300 thousand. PLN. and almost 9.5 thousand euro.

The procedure of bringing them to Poland was implemented against Poles detained in Spain, while those detained in Poland were temporarily arrested by the court for a period of three months. 7 people are suspected of participating in an organized criminal group and of marketing and smuggling large amounts of drugs. They are threatened with 15 years imprisonment. The two detainees will be prosecuted under Spanish law.

As part of the case, the total assets of the suspects were secured for the amount of over PLN 22 million in the form of cash, cars and real estate in Spain, including luxury villas. The Lublin National Tax Administration supported the determination of the seized assets.

The operation was carried out as part of a project funded by the European Union, an initiative to combat top-level organized crime groups operating in Europe. The project led by the Italian Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (DIA) was initiated at Europol headquarters in 2018 and involves 27 services (LEA – Law Enforcement Agencies) representing 22 countries and Europol. Eurojust also cooperated on this matter.

The investigators also found that an organized criminal group (associated with the community of hooligans of one of Krakow’s sports clubs), in 2011-2017, smuggled at least 162 smuggling not less than 15 tons of marijuana with a retail value of at least PLN 440 million. Smuggling took place to Poland from the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. The group smuggled drugs from Spain to Italy, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Narcotic drugs were then marketed in Poland and other European Union countries.

Currently, there are 44 suspects in the case. The investigation is still developmental. Further detentions are not ruled out.