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Record Cocaine Bust: Spain Confiscates 9.5 Tonnes from Ecuador

On Friday, Spanish law enforcement and customs officials revealed the country’s largest-ever cocaine haul after seizing roughly 9.5 tonnes from Ecuador.

In one of Europe’s biggest ports, the southern port of Algeciras, officers discovered the drug on Wednesday hidden within banana crates inside a refrigerated container, they said in a joint statement.

José Carlos Arobes, a senior officer at Spain’s tax agency, which oversees customs inspections, stated at a news conference that “We are facing the largest seizure of cocaine in Spain,”

Previous to this discovery, the largest cocaine raid in Spain occurred in 2018, when 8.7 tonnes of cocaine were also discovered in a purported banana container in Algeciras and loaded in Colombia.

The package that was intercepted this week, according to the authorities, was planned to arrive in Portugal and then be dispersed throughout Europe.

Major criminal networks in Europe were its intended receivers, according to the statement.

There were the emblems of more than 30 European criminal organizations that were supposed to receive the cargo.

Many of the bags bore the word “Hitler” and the swastika, just like a shipment of cocaine that was stopped in Peru on its way to Belgium in May of this year.

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Major Cocaine Distribution Network

On Friday, Spanish law enforcement and customs officials revealed the country’s largest-ever cocaine haul after seizing roughly 9.5 tonnes from Ecuador.

The drugs originated in Guayaquil, an Ecuadorian port city that serves as a launching pad for South American drugs bound for North America and Europe.

Without naming the organization, the statement said that the operation was “an unprecedented blow for one of the biggest criminal organizations at world level in cocaine distribution,”

Although there have not yet been any arrests, Morales stated that the investigation “is still open”

Due to its extensive commercial network and usage of Spain’s northwest port of Vigo, the organization that handled the transit was able to deliver 40 containers to Europe each month, according to the investigators.

The organizations, according to the authorities, traded international bananas out of the port of Machala in Ecuador.

Due to inadequate security in ports along its Pacific coast, drug trafficking from Colombia and Peru has expanded into the Andean nation in recent years, making Ecuador a major player in the region’s cocaine trade.

A wave of violence has been sparked by the drug trade. Since 2018, Ecuador’s homicide rate has doubled; kidnappings are common; and since 2021, at least 430 people have died in prison fighting between rival drug gangs.

Due to its strong ties to former colonies in South America, the world’s biggest producer of cocaine, and its closeness to North Africa, a major supplier of hashish, Spain has become a major entry point for illegal drugs entering Europe.

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Source: Barrons

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