The Civil Guard dismantles a network that introduced large amounts of hashish along the coasts of Huelva

60 people have been arrested and more than 10 tons of hashish, 13 boats, 40 vehicles and 8 firearms have been seized

The organization launched the boats through the marina of Lagos (Portugal) and Murcia, to avoid police pressure on the coasts of Andalusia

In the SOTERRADO operation, coordinated by Europol, the agents have had the collaboration of the Judicial Police of Portugal

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the SOTERRADO operation coordinated by Europol and in collaboration with the Portuguese Judicial Police, has dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the international trafficking of hashish based in the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cádiz. 60 people have been arrested and more than 10 tons of hashish have been seized.

The investigation began in February of last year when the Civil Guard learned of the existence of a powerful organization of drug traffickers, who, although they resided in Huelva, Seville and Cádiz, had moved their logistics to the south of Portugal to avoid the pressure that the Guard Civil works on the coasts of Andalusia.
The investigators, along with members of the Portuguese Judicial Police, learned that the organization was launching up to 4 boats from the Lagos marina in Portugal with crews from Cádiz and Ceuta.
At the same time, the Civil Guard was aware that the network had made important collections of fuel that they were storing in the Huelva county area. In addition, it was detected that the boats came from the Cadiz town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Stash

Numerous caches have been intervened in the course of the investigation:
  • In March of last year, a boat of the organization launched in Lagos has problems and ends up losing its load and part of it appears on the coast of the Balearic Islands.
  • 1,000 kilos of hashish are seized in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar in August 2020, detaining 4 people and intervening 1 boat.
  • In September of that same year, 1,700 kilos of hashish were seized in Isla Cristinan (Huelva), with 6 arrested and two boats seized, recovering a stolen SUV.
  • In October, due to police pressure in Portugal, they tried to launch boats through Huelva and Murcia, three people being arrested and two more boats seized.
  • In October 2020, 1,300 kilos were seized in Mazagón (Huelva), recovering another three stolen vehicles.
  • Again, in Isla Cristina, in December, agents aborted a new cache, arresting 10 people and seizing 2,100 kilos of hashish, 2 boats and three vehicles.
  • In Ayamonte, three days later, another 3,000 kilos were found next to a boat, for which 4 people were arrested.
  • Also in December, in Matalascañas (Huelva) 600 kilos of hashish and a vehicle were intervened.
  • The last apprehension took place in January of this year in Isla Cristina, where a boat carrying 1,200 kilos of hashish was intervened.
During the course of the operation, the agents detect a massive launch of vessels from the port of Lagos (Portugal), reaching up to 12 vessels to launch in broad daylight in a single month.
They also located some industrial facilities, near the city of Huelva, which were used by the organization to repair boats, taking advantage of the commercial activity that existed there during daylight hours.
Once the organization was known, both its way of working, and the role played by its components, the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 4 of those of Ayamonte was requested numerous records in the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cádiz.
Finally, 31 people were arrested, to which must be added the 29 previously detained, and 10,300 kilos of hashish were seized, 13 boats, in addition to 40 vehicles, including high-end passenger cars, tractor units, SUVs. Likewise, 2,400 liters of gasoline, computer and telecommunications equipment, as well as abundant documentation have been intervened.

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