Spanish police bust drug ring, seize 11 tons of hashish

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 Spanish police have detained 35 people and seized 11 metric tons of hashish from an organized drug trafficking ring operating between North Africa and Europe.
“The dismantled organization controlled the entire chain of trafficking, from production to packing, as well as transport to Spain, storage, and distribution throughout Europe, especially in France, Belgium, England and the Netherlands,” a statement by the police said on Wednesday.

Police said that they confiscated some 8.5 tons of the cannabis-based drug found at the cartel’s warehouse in the central Spanish region of Toledo.

From 17 raids over an eight-month investigation, the police have held 150,000 euros in cash, 14 vehicles valued at 400,000 euros and 109 cell phones used by the drug cartel.

Authorities said the group hid the blocks of hashish in the fuel tanks of trucks that they arranged to travel from across the Strait of Gibraltar that connects Morocco to Spain.

The group would continue the cross-continent drug smuggling journey into countries including Belgium, Britain, France and the Netherlands. From there, the dealers would distribute the drug for its sale and use, officials said.

National Police Chief Ignacio Cosido identified the group members’ nationality as 31 Moroccans, three Spaniards and a Belgian woman.

The ring used sophisticated technology, including a Global Positioning System (GPS), which they could use to pinpoint the location of the shipment and special designed reusable gas tanks, said Jose Luis Conde, who heads the National Police’s Madrid division.

Conde declined to say whether the hashish had originated from Morocco, but said it came from North Africa.

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