Poland and Spain take down gang hiding drugs worth millions in fruit and veg crates

In yet another victory on the war on drugs,  law enforcement in Spain and Poland have taken down with Europol’s support an international drug trafficking organisation suspected of bringing into Poland vast amounts of drugs hidden in lorries of fruit and vegetables.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized over 260 kilos of marijuana, amphetamine and cocaine with a total street value of EUR 2 925 400.

Over the past year, a number of actions have been carried out against the members of this criminal organisation, resulting in 42 arrests, including the ringleaders.

On 23 April 2023, a series of coordinated raids were carried out across both countries, resulting in 14 arrests in Poland and 6 arrested in Spain. On this occasion, cash worth over half a million euros was seized in various currencies.

The first strike against this criminal organisation took place a year prior. In April 2022, the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation arrested 7 suspects smuggling drugs into Poland. Among the cargo of potatoes they were hauling from Spain, the investigators found 158 bags of marijuana. An additional 51 bags of marijuana were seized at the homes of the suspects arrested. 

The evidence collected over the course of the investigation revealed how this criminal organisation is linked to the smuggling of 3 tonnes of marijuana, worth an estimated EUR 30 million.

The criminals would smuggle the drugs in refrigerated lorries from Spain to Poland, via the Netherlands and Germany. The investigation was also able to uncover how the gang members had links to hooligans of various sports clubs. 

Europol’s support was instrumental in the success of this case. In the framework of its operational activities, Europol was able to develop reliable intelligence concerning the activities of this drug trafficking organisation.

Europol has been providing continuous intelligence development and analysis to support the field investigators. During the action, Europol facilitated the real-time coordination among all the partners involved, ensuring swift tactical decisions to adjust the strategy as required.