Spanish Police Seize 4.5 Tons of Cocaine in Major Drug Bust
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 419
In a recent operation, Spanish police seized an unprecedented 4.5 tons of cocaine with a street value of approximately 105 million euros on a ship near the Canary Islands. The 28 crew members of the ship "Orion Five", sailing under the flag of Togo, were arrested in the operation which was conducted on Tuesday, January 24th.
This operation was the result of a months-long surveillance by the Spanish police, who had been monitoring the movements of the ship from Colombia. The police spokesperson, Maria Buyo, stated that "In this operation 62 miles off the Canary Islands, the cargo ship Orion V was intercepted while having more than 4500 kilos of cocaine.
Their 28 crew members from nine different nationalities have been arrested. After inspecting the ship's common areas, officers detected in a feed silo an undetermined number of packages commonly used for cocaine traffic."
Drugs Seized at Sea
The drugs were seized from the cattle ship, which had been calling at ports in dozens of countries before being intercepted by Spanish police.
The police statement highlighted that "International organizations are reinventing themselves to transport drugs from Latin America to Europe, using livestock to make the control and localisation more difficult." In the port of Las Palmas, the police unloaded dozens of boxes and crates containing the illicit substances from the ship.
This operation was not the first of its kind, as the police had conducted a search on another vessel, the "Blume," flying the flag of Togo, near the southeast of the Canary Islands in mid-January of this year. Additionally, 4.5 tonnes of cocaine were discovered here.
The police have reported that in total, 9 tonnes of drugs have been recovered this month.
Organized Crime and Garbage Smuggling
This operation by Spanish police comes on the heels of another major operation in which they dismantled a criminal organization that had been smuggling more than 5,000 tonnes of hazardous electronic garbage to several African countries from the Canary Islands.
The police detained 43 people who were accused of unlawfully transporting 331 containers of used gadgets to Africa over the previous two years, according to the Spanish finance ministry. This latest operation highlights the ever-evolving tactics of international criminal organizations and the dedication of the Spanish police in their efforts to combat these illegal activities.