1,400 kilos of cocaine hidden in containers seized in the port of Bilbao
The seizure is the product of two consecutive operations, of 185 kilos and 1,212 kilos, respectively, in the control of merchandise originating in South America
The total of the drug would have reached a value of more than 86 million euros in the illicit market
The Civil Guard and the Tax Agency in the framework of a joint operation have seized 1,397 kilos of cocaine in two consecutive operations carried out in March and May in the port of Bilbao. Specifically, the Risk Analysis Unit of the customs area of the port of Bilbao, dependent on the Regional Customs Area of the Basque Country and made up of officials of the Customs Surveillance Service and agents of the Civil Guard's fiscal reserve, apprehended at the end of March a first stash of 185 kilos of cocaine, and during the month of May a second stash, this time of 1,212 kilos, both hidden in containers originating in South America.
In both cases, after detecting irregularities in the containers, they were transferred to the Comprehensive Customs Recognition Center that the Tax Agency has in the customs area to carry out an in-depth inspection.
As the merchandise was being unloaded, the existence of a series of undeclared bundles that resembled those used to transport narcotic substances could be observed. Inside, a large number of packages were hidden containing the substance that turned out to be cocaine.
The 1,397 kilos seized would have reached a value higher than 86 million euros in the illicit market. The investigations continue open, not ruling out future arrests.
At the same time, the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency has initiated investigations into money laundering.
The inspections in matters of Fiscal Protection carried out by the Civil Guard and Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency, have obtained great results in recent months, all due to the intensification of customs control mechanisms on imports of merchandise framed all this in the context of the assurance of the logistics chain of international trade.
According to the European Observatory on Drugs and Drug Addiction, containers are one of the main maritime channels for the introduction of cocaine into Europe. It should be borne in mind that two thirds of the cocaine seized on the continent has traveled by sea.
Spain is listed as one of the hottest spots in these entries. It is introduced mainly by sea, using ingenious methods such as the so-called 'lost hook', taking advantage of companies that carry out legal activities and even camouflaging the drug within merchandise such as pieces of fruit, canned food or metal cylinders.