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From: THOMAS WEBER
01.06.2017 - 10:04

Spanish Police

Seizure of 5.5 tonnes of cocaine onboard a cargo vessel in Ecuador

Spanish Policia Nacional, Spanish Customs and Ecuadorian Police have conducted an operation resulting in the seizure of 5.5 tonnes of cocaine onboard a cargo vessel in Ecuador. Supported by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Europol, the investigation saw one of the largest seizures of cocaine to date.

Operation Moccus, which started in 2016, has managed to disrupt a large drug maritime trafficking organisation operating between South America and Spain. The criminal network settled in the north-west of Spain (Galicia) to coordinate its cocaine shipments. One of the criminal group members was travelling in the intercepted vessel, as ‘guarantor’ of the illegal load and contact person with the Spanish criminal network. On several occasions, members of the Spanish criminal branch had travelled to Colombia and Panama to plan the cocaine shipment.

The South American criminal organisation had hidden the cocaine load in a merchant vessel named “Kraken I”, flying Panama’s flag, which departed from Ecuador to Spain via Panama. Intelligence indicated that crew members had received and concealed the drugs in a hidden compartment located between the hull and one of the holds of the vessel.

Once close to Spanish territory, the criminal organisation had planned to transport the cocaine load from the ship into Spain using speed boats from Galicia.
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