Two criminal organizations dedicated to international heroin trafficking dismantled in Barcelona

The investigation began when a significant increase was detected in the attempts to introduce heroin in Spain through the Barcelona airport in the last two years

One of the destinations of the drug was its sale in the “narcopisos” of the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona

In the operation 26 people of different nationalities have been arrested and more than 70 kg of high purity heroin have been intervened

Within the framework of a joint operation of the National Police and the Civil Guard, called the “Season-Santa Cruz” operation, the agents have arrested 26 people belonging to two criminal organizations established in Barcelona dedicated to international heroin trafficking. The operation involved more than 70 kg of heroin of great purity.

The investigation began by detecting agents a significant increase in attempts to introduce heroin in Spain through the Barcelona airport in the last two years. In these attempts, different amounts of this type of drug were intervened gradually.
Among the objectives of the Civil Guard were coincidences with investigations by the National Police regarding heroin trafficking, so the information of both police forces was merged, also with the collaboration of other foreign police in the exchange of information of the fighting units against drug trafficking, specifically from the Czech Republic, Royal Dutch Gendarmerie, and the Special Force to Combat Drug Trafficking of the Bolivian Police. This joint investigation team was coordinated by CITCO (Center for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organized Crime).
Continuing with the investigations, it was possible to verify the existence of two complex and independent criminal organizations established in Barcelona and dedicated to international heroin trafficking whose leaders were of Pakistani nationality.

They introduced heroin in Spain through “bootmen” or “drivers”

The way in which both criminal structures acted was similar since they introduced heroin into Spain through “luggage” or “drivers” of Pakistani nationality that they previously captured.
At first these organizations were dedicated only to the trafficking of heroin, but their eagerness for expansion and new incorporations of people of other nationalities also introduced them into the cocaine trade.
One of the organizations, the one with the greatest operational potential, was perfectly structured in three differentiated cells with very defined competences, one of them was dedicated to the recruitment of personnel that acted as 'messengers', another was dedicated to international heroin trafficking and the third to cocaine.
As the investigation progressed, the agents observed how the organizations made modifications in the way they had to get messengers as a method of protection to avoid being discovered.

Phases of exploitation

During the investigation 3 phases of exploitation have been carried out that have consisted of:
1st phase: between August 2017 and March 2018, in which three people were arrested when they tried to introduce more than 19 kg of hidden heroin in their luggage in the airports of Madrid and Barcelona and two members of the organization responsible for get messengers One of which was the head of the organization.
The result of this intervention was located in Italy to another member of the organization who was arrested in Italy through a European Detention Order and extradited to Spain.
2nd phase: carried out between August 2018 and January 2019 initiated with the arrest of two Spanish citizens and one Pakistani at the Barcelona airport with the arrival of the Dubai-Zurich-Barcelona flight with more than 24 kg of heroin hidden in their suitcases.
Due to the exchange of information of the investigators with the police of other countries it was possible to stop at the airport of Prague (Czech Republic) to another of the courier collectors of the organization and that carried more than 6 kg of heroin in their luggage.
Days later, there was a house search in Barcelona in which two people in charge of organizing the trips made by the messengers were arrested and various materials and substances used for cutting heroin, a simulated gun and a laser were apprehended.
Also, in January an operation was carried out with the Dutch Royal Gendarmerie at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) to locate and detain a Spanish citizen who was carrying 15 kg of heroin from a flight from Doha (Qatar) and another hidden in her suitcase member of the organization, of Pakistani origin whose mission was to receive that drug.
Likewise, another parallel operation was carried out that ended with the arrest of 8 members of the organization in Madrid and Valencia, and the apprehension in Madrid of 6 kg of heroin to another person captured by the organization.
3rd phase: between January and April 2019, the Bolivian Police detected, at the Viru Viru airport (Santa Cruz), a package with more than 10 kg of cocaine hidden in printer ink cartridges whose final destination was Spain. Thanks to the intelligence obtained and the exchange of information with the Special Force to Combat Drug Trafficking in Bolivia, four members of the organization responsible for receiving cocaine packages were arrested in Madrid.
With this investigation the two criminal organizations established in Barcelona are dismantled. In addition, five house searches have been carried out in the provinces of Barcelona and Valencia, and 26 people have been arrested for drug trafficking offenses and belonging to a criminal organization in Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Madrid, Prague (Czech Republic) and Amsterdam, of different nationalities (Pakistani, Spanish, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Colombian and Dominican) of which 20 have entered prison, in addition to having intervened 70,731 kg of heroin of great purity and 11.9 kg of cocaine.
As a result of the investigation, it has been known that through drug dealers located at a lower level than importers, the fate of much of the drug, which was adulterated to multiply the final amount, was its sale in the so-called “narcopisos” ”From the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona.

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