THE GUARDIA CIVIL has busted open a large drug smuggling operation between Spain and the African continent with the arrests of 25 people. The drug-trafficking group intended to smuggle marijuana from North Africa into Spain hidden in the hulls of modified boats.
The police operation named Batelo/Sol Naciente took place in Malaga, Melilla and Almeria provinces. Most of the arrested men have Spanish nationality and were responsible for managing the operation, storage, logistics and distribution of the drugs. Charges include several drug-trafficking offenses, belonging to a criminal organisation and possession of illegal weapons.
The band of smugglers took vessels from Spain to the north of Morocco where they loaded drugs before returning to Spain. The established procedure saw a network of people involved in the hiding of boats and drugs and the onward distribution.
The undercover operation by the Guardia Civil included inspections in Malaga, Almeria and Melilla. The Malaga towns of Frigiliana and Velez Malaga were where most of the drug cartel was based.