Major cocaine seizures in Spain, Portugal and Ecuador illustrate the European cocaine pipeline that has become a central part of the operations of Colombian drug traffickers, and could represent lucrative new opportunities for them to occupy new roles the drug supply chain.
On January 17, Spanish and Portuguese police announced the seizure 745 kilograms of cocaine during the course of an operation against an international drug trafficking ring operating in both countries. Press reports indicated the network was led by Colombian nationals.
The group allegedly imported Colombian cocaine in shipping containers traveling from Panama to Portugal, and were in the process of trying to import 355 kilograms of cocaine stashed in hollowed-out pineapples.
According to police, the network transported the drugs to a stash house in Barcelona, and then on to several properties in Madrid, which were used as “laboratories,” presumably to cut the cocaine, and distribution points for sales within the city.
Police arrested nine people, among them at least three Colombians and a Venezuelan, with two Colombian brothers named as the alleged ringleaders. They also seized 400,000 euros ($490,000), two hydraulic presses, precision scales, three packaging machines and documentation related to fruit import companies, reported Catalonian newspaper La Vanguardia.
In Ecuador, meanwhile, the Interior Ministry announced the seizure of 1.45 metric tons of cocaine hidden in a shipping container of frozen fish that was set to sail from the port of Guayaquil to Belgium.
According to the police, the drugs came from Colombia and comprised shipments from three different trafficking networks, with the packages marked with different images — some of Russian President Vladimir Putin, others of a chainsaw, and others of a bull....MUCH MORE
Monday, January 29, 2018
Distribution Channels: "European Cocaine Seizures Hint at New Possibilities for Colombia Traffickers"
From Insight Crime: