Three tonnes of cocaine seized, 12 arrested in Spain drugs bust

5th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police said Tuesday they had seized three tonnes of cocaine and arrested twelve suspected drug smugglers from Spain, Britain and The Netherlands in a major drugs bust in the north of the country.

The seizure in the northwestern Galicia region was "the biggest for this type of drug on Galician soil since 1999", the police said in a statement, without revealing when the operation took place.

The cocaine was bound for an important smuggling ring based on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, the statement added.

"Twelve people were detained including those transporting the merchandise, who were Spanish, and the sellers and buyers of the drugs who were Dutch and British respectively."

Spain is a major gateway into Europe for cocaine coming from its former colonies in Latin America, a major producer of the drug.

Last month, police seized 40 pallets made out of 1.4 tonnes of compressed cocaine made to look like wood that arrived on a shipping container from Colombia.

And in November, police said they had detained Briton Robert Dawes, one of Europe's most wanted drug lords, in his luxury villa on the Costa del Sol after an eight-year probe into his alleged links to the Italian mafia and South American cartels.

He has since been extradited to France, where he is wanted in connection with the discovery of 1.3 tonnes of cocaine in a Paris airport in 2013, for which several Britons suspected of being part of his crime empire were jailed.

© 2016 AFP

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