CRIMINAL GANGS have taken to the skies in order to get their drugs into Spain.
A multi-operational team combining Guardia Civil, OFAST and Europol have dismantled a group of drug smugglers seizing four helicopters.
In addition, a fleet of cars, trucks and firearms were found.
The gang of Frenchmen brought hashish into Spain’s Andalucia from Morocco by air and transported the drug by road to their home country.
Their booty was hidden in HGV trucks or in vehicles with false registration plates.
Intelligence first came to light in 2020, and ‘Operation COPA-SUCRE’ launched.
Helicopter flights from Morocco
Gang members were found to have been entering Spanish airspace without a flight itinerary, and through the monitoring of various vehicles, many smugglers were traced to Malaga.
One detainee had five different identities, all of them false.
Investigations linked authorities to a French-registered truck and an interception in Narboone revealed 419 kilograms of hashish inside.
Some 112 kilograms of marijuana were also seized in Port Bou (Gerona) in another truck used by the gang.
One of the four helicopters seized in Torremolinos had recently arrived from Morocco.
Some 211 kilograms of hashish was discovered aboard.
A potentially lethal car chase ended after a gang vehicle was apprehended travelling from Marbella to Malaga.
Despite the tyres being punctured, the smugglers fled from authorities trying to run over one policeman and ramming the car of another.
A further 329 kilograms of hashish was found inside the car, and another 266 kilograms at his home, where three others were arrested.
After another car chase through Granada, another 327 kilograms of hashish was found in Baza.
Additionally, 860 kilograms were seized from a truck leaving a warehouse in Chauchina (Granada).
In all, 11 drug smugglers were arrested, nine of whom already had arrest warrants granted in France.
The seven seizures of drugs adds up to over 2.5 tonnes of contraband.