The Civil Guard and the National Police dismantle a criminal organization that introduced cocaine into Spain through the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport

The organization had salaried employees at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International airports, in Spain, and Viru Viru in Bolivia

A total of 23 people have been arrested, 12 in Spain and 11 in Bolivia in the framework of the "Operation SUELA-COLLECTION" which has achieved the dismantling of a criminal organization dedicated to drug trafficking and the seizure of more than 200 kilos high purity cocaine

Airport workers collected the drug that traveled in luggage without a passenger, taking advantage of their conditions as airport employees to remove it through the points set up for them

In a joint operation carried out by the National Police and the Civil Guard, within the framework of "Operation SUELA-COLLECTION", the dismantling of a criminal organization dedicated to drug trafficking has been achieved, in which a total of 23 people and more than 200 kilos of high-purity cocaine have been seized.

At the beginning of 2019, there is an apprehension of two backpacks loaded with 45 kilos of cocaine that were thrown by a person under vehicles parked on the platform. The investigation carried out culminated in the arrest of a man who worked at the airport.

The investigation continued its course until April 2019, the date that marks the drift of the operation. After the arrival of a flight from the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia, the agents surprised an individual who worked at the airport on the runways. When he was surprised, he abandoned his luggage, specifically, two backpacks with 47 kilos of cocaine. The exhaustive study provided sufficient data to put the US DEA and the British NCA on alert, which allowed the identification of two individuals who had fled Spain, collaborators of the detainee in our country and which led to the dismantling of the network of shipments from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia. In this town, 11 people were arrested, most of them employees at the South American airport.

From that moment on, the members of the organization changed their strategy, articulating a more complex modus operandi to extract the drugs they were hiding in the hold of the aircraft and using the cleaning service for this. Investigators discovered that the person responsible for this operation was the driver of the laundry vehicles who hid the drugs among the dirty clothes, and other members also participated in the protection, coverage and security tasks within the airport.

In January 2020 an arrest was achieved. The agents guarded luggage that did not correspond to any passenger. The backpack was removed by an airport worker, who had the collaboration of two other people, also employees of the Madrid airport and who wanted to remove 37 kilos of cocaine.

The narcotic substance was fully controlled from the hold of the aircraft to the final delivery point. In February 2020, the driver, after leaving the facilities, went to the town of Getafe where, when he was surprised, he undertook a hasty flight, finally being arrested after trying to run over the agents by ramming the police vehicles. The search of the truck resulted in the discovery of two backpacks containing 66 kilograms of high-purity cocaine.

On the other hand, the investigations carried out on this network allowed the identification and arrest of two more workers in Madrid, as well as the arrest of the individual who tried to collect the merchandise, a backpack with 22 kilos of cocaine.

The last phase of the operation has been much more complex as the organization changed its method of introducing the drug. For this he had designed a complex plan to remove the merchandise from the airport since it was extracted by the workers from the aircraft warehouses, always from flights from South America, hidden among the dirty blankets.

The group had developed a complicated system using shuttle vehicles, which alerted the driver carrying the merchandise to the presence of police cars. In the exploitation phase, when the agents proceeded to stop the truck that was carrying the merchandise, the driver undertook a hasty escape, ramming the police vehicles, managing to stop him on the M-40 at the height of Getafe and intercepting 66 kilos of high purity cocaine.

In November 2020, the last arrests of people who belonged to a cleaning company that provided service at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport were made.

The detainees are 11 men and one woman. They are of Dominican, Colombian, Argentine and Spanish origin and are between 25 and 60 years old. They are charged with crimes against public health, drug trafficking, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization.

After being made available to the competent judicial authority, the main investigated were ordered to be imprisoned.


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