Police sting breaks up cocaine smuggling ring
2 August 2006, MADRID – Police have broken up a drug cartel believed to be organising the smuggling of vast quantities of cocaine into Spain.
2 August 2006
MADRID – Police have broken up a drug cartel believed to be organising the smuggling of vast quantities of cocaine into Spain.
In a sting at Valencia port, drug squads arrested 11 suspects and seized 513 kilos of cocaine from a shipping container which had come from Peru.
Police believe they have detained the ringleader of the cartel, a Colombian wanted by the Colombian courts who frequently travelled to Spain.
The other suspects were seven other Colombians and three Spaniards.
Investigations began in 2002 when the police learnt of a scheme to smuggle in cocaine using shipping containers with false bottoms.
Detectives from Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia all worked together to crack the ring.
According to a United Nations report last year, Spain has the highest number of users of cocaine in the world, even ahead of the USA.
Some 2.6 of Spaniards were said to be regular users, according to a report in the Spanish daily El Pais, compared to 2.5 percent in the United States.
The report said Spain led the world in terms of consumption of cocaine because it was on a major drugs route between South America and Europe.
Last year, Spanish authorities seized 33 tonnes of cocaine – half the total amount confiscated in Europe.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news