Over a tonne of cocaine was discovered in the Port of Barcelona disguised in a shipment of cocoa powder.
The bust was made after the Guardia Civil received a tip-off about a criminal organisation that was smuggling cocaine into Spain through the port of the Catalan capital.
Further investigation revealed that a merchant ship carrying containers with the illicit substance was en route to Barcelona from Guayaquil in Ecuador.
The containers, which appeared to contain legal cocoa powder, were searched by the agents upon arrival and 1,340 kilograms of cocaine was found hidden inside.
The investigation into the drug shipment is ongoing, and authorities are working to locate those responsible for sending and receiving the drug.
The batch of class-A narcotics were hidden within four containers using a method whereby the container ship and crew transport the illicit cargo unwittingly.
Under this method, the consignment is unloaded at the port of destination and moved on without anyone being aware that they are party to drug trafficking.
The operation was carried out by members of the Guardia Civil’s Judicial Police Unit of Catalonia and the Barcelona Regional Operational Customs Surveillance Unit.
The Guardia Civil celebrated the quick action of the authorities to prevent a ‘significant amount of cocaine from entering the market, which would have had an economic impact and posed a threat to public health’.