The Spanish Civil Guard in Melilla dismantles an organization that used protected minors in a center for drug trafficking

The Spanish Civil Guard has dismantled in the Autonomous City of Melilla a criminal organization dedicated to human trafficking that captured minors in situations of extreme vulnerability to use them for illicit purposes related to drug trafficking.

In the Goliat operation, 24 people of Spanish nationality and residing in Melilla have been arrested, who have extensive criminal records, to whom the alleged crimes of trafficking in human beings, criminal organization and continued crimes of drug trafficking are attributed. The organization monopolized the distribution and retail sale of hashish from the “flipping” in the city.

Start of operation

The operation began last October 2021, after detecting the existence of an organized group in Melilla that captured minors in a situation of extreme vulnerability, under guardianship and residents of the “La Purísima” Minor Center, to which they that they used to collect drug packages thrown from Morocco through the fence, a method known as “turning”.

modus operandi

The organization used the vulnerable minors they captured to collect the packages at the foot of the fence, thus exposing themselves to the risk of being arrested, while the other members of the organization stayed in a second line, away from the border perimeter and without running any risk, awaiting its reception at an agreed place.

Once in their possession, the organization transferred them in vehicles to a secure “nursery”, located in the Cañada de Hidum neighborhood, where they stored the drug for later distribution and retail sale by trusted people, at different points. from the city.

The “flip” method proliferated exponentially as a result of the closure of land border controls as a result of COVID-19 and during all this time criminal organizations have been perfecting the system to avoid detection, seeking maximum efficiency and success without take risks and hence the idea of ​​using vulnerable minors.

The criminal organization had people who assumed specific roles, being constituted by its leaders; others who guarded the area controlling the movements of the service patrols; those in charge of collecting the “packages” at the foot of the fence; those who carried out the transport of the drug to the “nursery”, and those who finally dedicated themselves to the distribution and sale.

The leaders were the ones who personally contacted others in the Moroccan area by telephone and agreed on the day, time and place where the drug was to be launched, a crime that was perfected in a very short space of time, while supervising all the phases of the operation without leaving any details to chance.

During the investigation phase, the Command has analyzed, controlled and intercepted a total of 172 releases of drug packages and 275 kilograms of drugs have been seized, the vast majority of which hashish, presented in the form of “acorns”.

Operation result

Operation “GOLIAT” is settled with the following balance:

  • 24 people arrested, considering the criminal organization completely dismantled. 
  • 9 minors rescued and made available to the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office.
  • 275 kilograms of drugs seized during the investigation phase of the facts, of which 34 kilograms have been seized from the detainees.
  • Five entries and home searches have been carried out simultaneously 
  • Intervention of numerous mobile phones and documentation that will be useful for further analysis

The investigation has been carried out by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Melilla Command, under the direction of the Court of Instruction number Four of Melilla, which has kept the proceedings secret until the exploitation phase and the Prosecutor’s Office of Minors who has ensured the legal status and protection of minors used by the plot.For the development in the exploitation phase, arrests and searches carried out, a deployment of 250 civil guards has been arranged, belonging to the Hawk Teams provided with drones, Cynological Service, Citizen Security and the Rural Security Group, in order to provide coverage and establish security perimeters during its development.