To help combat transnational organised crime in Europe, Spain has been given more than €1m by Europol
Spain has received an important source of extra funding, a sum in excess of €1million. This money comes from Europol, and is designed to support transnational police operations. It is aimed at combating organised crime in fields as diverse as trafficking in cannabis, heroin, and cocaine.
Human trafficking, the facilitation of illegal immigration. crimes against property or against the environment, and illicit trafficking in firearms, are also in the scope of coverage.
Europol offers these funds to the Member States of the European Union, in two modalities: one known as HVG, aimed mainly at the strategic part, and another known as LVG, for eminently operational aspects.
This investment made it possible during 2021 for the National Police and Guardia Civil units to obtain important specialised technical material, for use in the investigations developed within the Operational Action Plans of the EMPACT priorities.
Specifically, aid has been obtained for more than twenty operations in which numerous arrests and seizures have been made. Some of which are still open, or in the process of development. The amount obtained by Spain in 2021 exceeded €1m.
One of the latest operations carried out by the State Security Forces and Corps last December led to the arrest of one of the most wanted international drug traffickers. In an operation carried out by the Guardia Civil in Barcelona, in which officers of the French Gendarmerie, the Belgian Police, and the DEA of the USA also participated.
In “Operation MVRAND”, the Guardia Civil dismantled one of the most important criminal organisations involved in the introduction of narcotics into Europe, as well as money laundering. In 16 searches carried out in the provinces of Barcelona, Pontevedra, and Cadiz, a total of 17 people were arrested, eleven of them Spanish nationals, and six Moroccans,
In addition, nearly €1 million in cash, ten high-end vehicles, a boat, watches, and jewellery valued at more than €3m, were seized, as well as €18,000 worth of tickets for the national Christmas lottery of December 22.
Among those arrested was the ringleader of this organisation – and the main target of the operation – a Moroccan citizen. He is considered to be directly responsible in Spain for the introduction of 4,300kg of hashish in San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia, plus another 1,800kg of cocaine in the Galician coasts. These were both in 2021.
He is also considered responsible for the introduction of more than one ton of cocaine to the El Jadida coast of Morocco in December 2018, for which two of those arrested in this operation had an International Arrest Warrant (OID) in force.
The National Police developed this summer another important operation, in which the largest cocaine distribution network in Europe operating through more than five countries was dismantled.
This was “Operation MUSALA-IBIZA”, coordinated through Europol, and developed jointly by the National Police of Spain, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Slovenia, the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration), and Colombia.
As a result, 2.6 tons of cocaine, and 70 kilos of marijuana buds were seized. Thirteen people were arrested after a year-long investigation into this network of drug traffickers operating internationally.
In addition, the National Police seized €200,000 in cash, nine high-end vehicles, and five motorcycles. They also confiscated a firearm and cartridges (300 cartridges), together with another simulated copy of a Glock.
The same searches uncovered a police service identification badge, various bladed weapons, computers, and telecommunications equipment, several of them equipped with encrypted messaging systems, as well as 50 mobile phones, camera detectors, frequency inhibitors, and a multitude of documentation related to the organisation’s companies.
In Spain, the operation involved simultaneous actions in five provinces: Madrid, Valencia, Marbella, Barcelona, and Tarragona.
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