TAX Agency officials and Guardia Civil officers have seized 700 kilos of cocaine in a joint operation in the Port of Valencia.
On October 26 Authorities had noticed that a container’s doors were badly closed, and it lacked the correct seal. On closer inspection a series of large black bags were found, they were similar in appearance to those often used to transport drugs.
The illicit cargo was found in a container bound for the Port of Sines, in Portugal, and Maritime Customs officials directed the operation on the ground.
The haul had originated from El Salvador and was hidden among a consignment of textiles, and it had arrived in Spain aboard a ship called ‘MSC Giselle’. In total, 700 kilos of cocaine were found distributed among 21 bags.
According to Guardia Civil officers, this type of find indicates the presence of what is known as a “lost hook” or a “rip off” operation, commonly used by criminal organisations across the world.
The smuggling technique involves the illogic cargo being hidden within a container either at the port of origin, or along the way, without the knowledge of a legitimate shipping company. Once the cargo is unloaded at transit ports, members of the criminal organisation are responsible for clandestinely intercepting the cargo before it reaches its final destination.
According to authorities a kilo of uncut cocaine is valued at around €30,000, this means that this seizure would be worth at least €21 million. However the haul would fetch many times this as it hits the streets. Cocaine is always cut, often with dangerous ingredients, by dealers seeking maximum profit.
This seizure is the second largest this year to be carried out in the Port of Valencia.