The Civil Guard dismantles a major criminal organization dedicated to international drug trafficking from the Costa del Sol

This criminal group had created a fictitious food company, specifically for the production of canned tomatoes, guaranteeing road transport to Lithuania during the term of the State of Alarm decreed by the health crisis of COVID-19

200 kilograms of hashish have been seized in a truck, hidden in cans of fried tomato, in addition to a sophisticated "indoor" marijuana plantation with more than 700 plants located in a luxury villa on the Malaga coast

The Civil Guard, in the so-called VAISTAS operation, has dismantled one of the most important and active criminal organizations in northern Europe dedicated to international drug trafficking, which was based and operated from the Costa del Sol.

Three people have been arrested and another investigated, all of them of Lithuanian nationality, who periodically sent to their country significant amounts of hashish and marijuana that they cultivated themselves, hidden in tinned tomato cans.

The investigations began at the beginning of last March, when the Civil Guard became aware of the existence of a group of Lithuanian citizens settled on the Costa del Sol, who could be sending various types of narcotic substances both to their country of origin and to other neighbors of the former Soviet Union.

Throughout the investigation, the agents have been able to corroborate how the disarticulated organization had a high degree of criminal specialization, since its members, despite the State of Alarm decreed by the Government as a result of the Covid-19 health crisis , had managed to maintain their illicit activities between Spain and Lithuania, through the creation of a fictitious food company, specifically for the production and packaging of canned tomatoes, which guaranteed them the ability to bypass all the mobility and confinement restrictions imposed by the authorities, as well as ensuring the shipment of narcotic drugs to northern Europe by land.

Packaging factory in a luxury villa

In the same way, it was possible to discover how the organization had established an important logistics infrastructure on the Malaga Costa del Sol, for example, having a large villa located in a residential area of ​​high purchasing power in the town of Mijas (Malaga), hiding in its basement a sophisticated "Indoor" marijuana plantation with great production capacity in short periods of time, seized at the time of the police intervention with more than 700 plants.
This same house was also used as a canning factory, having used machinery of great industrial value and numerous tools for the sealing and closing of tomato cans after having introduced the drug substance inside, for which they previously acquired the empty cans and their corresponding labels, which corresponded to a totally legal tomato brand that is foreign to these activities.

Transfer to a polygon as a security measure

Once the drug was hidden inside the cans and prepared to be transported to their final destination, they were transferred as a security measure to a rental storage room located in an industrial estate in the city of Malaga, a polygon to which they accessed the Lithuanian trucks that the organization had to transport the drug, without attracting any attention.
The final exploitation of the operation in our country was rushed, because the now detainees were caught red-handed the same morning on Good Friday while loading a pallet of canned tomato cans into a Lithuanian truck, which, once inspected by the agents, they hid 200 kilograms of hashish inside.
In addition to the detainees and investigated and the exposed narcotic substances, two passenger cars, a truck, tools and industrial machinery have also been intervened for the packaging of cans of conversos, various electronic security equipment of high economic value such as frequency inhibitors and cameras security, as well as numerous computer equipment.
This operation has been carried out by the Organized Crime Team (ECO) based in Malaga of the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard, with the support of the USECIC and other territorial units of the Malaga Command, all of this directed by the Investigating Court number ONE of Fuengirola (Malaga), which has already decreed unconditional imprisonment for all detainees.
The operation is still open, so new arrests are not ruled out.
For more information, you can contact the Press Office of the Central Operating Unit at 91.503.13.27.

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