DrugsNewsOrganised Crime

Dismantled a Chinese mafia dedicated to international drug trafficking and money laundering through parcel companies

38 people have been arrested and a total of 30 searches have been carried out in the provinces of Madrid, Salamanca, Toledo, Asturias, Lugo and Las Palmas

More than half a ton of marijuana, 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, 160,000 euros in cash, seven high-end vehicles, luxury jewelery and watches, as well as two modified firearms have been seized

In a joint operation of the Civil Guard, the National Police and the Tax Agency, a Chinese mafia allegedly dedicated to international drug trafficking and money laundering has been dismantled. 38 people have been arrested, of whom 23 have been imprisoned for belonging to a criminal organization of Chinese origin. In addition, 30 searches have been carried out in homes, commercial establishments and parcel companies. Three “indoor” plantations have been dismantled and more than half a ton of marijuana prepared for shipment abroad has been seized. A total of twelve vehicles have also been intervened, some of them high-end, luxury jewelery and watches, as well as other effects and documents. This operation has been developed in the provinces of Madrid, Salamanca, Toledo, Asturias and Lugo,

Chinese organized crime

In April 2018, after detecting the shipment of large quantities of marijuana to France for later commercialization, the investigation was initiated that placed a Chinese criminal organization behind this type of activity, using a network of postal parcel companies run by citizens Chinese as an intermediary element facilitating their illegal activity. 

This dismantled group was hierarchical and had a high degree of specialization and professionalism. It was structured in cells in charge of mass cultivation in “indoor” plantations in large industrial warehouses and isolated homes, and others in charge of packaging and shipping abroad through parcel companies. 

Distribution to other European countries

Researchers have been able to detect how this type of Chinese criminal organizations have assumed the cultivation and acquisition of this substance in Spain to later package it and distribute it to other neighboring countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy or the Netherlands.

These organizations adopt a high degree of opacity and secrecy in the communities and areas where they settle, trying to go unnoticed and making it difficult for the different police forces to detect them. Despite this, the coordination established during the operation has allowed the identification and dismantling of this mafia group.

Money laundering and evasion

Using the same channels established for the shipment of narcotic substances, other members of the criminal organization were dedicated to sending large amounts of cash to countries such as Italy or Portugal, having made apprehensions of up to 100,000 euros inside, thanks to the cooperation of the Guarda di Finanza in the case of Italy and the Judicial Police in Portugal. It is estimated that they could have been avoiding up to half a million euros on a monthly basis. On the other hand, and despite the enormous economic profit reported by their criminal activities, complementary systems are used to channel these profits, making economic compensation, avoiding the Spanish economic space at all times.

During the searches, 160,000 euros were found hidden in double funds, which were to be packaged and sent to countries such as Italy and Portugal. Along with the apprehensions made during the operation, around half a million euros have been intercepted, estimating that this was also the monthly amount that the criminal organization took out of Spain.

The detainees, some of them in an irregular situation, are charged with crimes of criminal organization, against public health, usurpation of civil status and other accessory crimes that allowed them to perfect their modus operandi. Those who were in an irregular situation used documents from other Chinese citizens, stolen or loaned by other members of the organization, thus avoiding obtaining their real identity.