Nine Tonnes of Cocaine Seized at Algeciras

Images courtesy Juan Ignacio Zoido / Ministerio Interior

By The Maritime Executive 04-26-2018 08:12:00

On Wednesday, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido announced the largest bust of a containerized cocaine shipment ever made in Europe. Upon inspecting three containers of bananas at the port of Algeciras, Spanish officials discovered nearly 9,000 kilos of the white powder. The consignment easily surpassed the 6,000-kilo cocaine haul at Algeciras last November, which was the largest of its kind in Europe in 18 years. 

The Spanish National Police's Central Narcotics Brigade worked with Spanish customs officials and Europol to investigate the case. These agencies and their international partners watched the exporter and importer of the banana consignment, then monitored the suspicious shipment during its transfer to Algeciras. On Sunday, customs officials inspected the boxes at the port and found the narcotics. 

Afterwards, Spain's Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor's Office authorized the delivery of the shipment to its final destination in order to identify those responsible for the shipment. The investigators followed the boxes to an industrial building in Malaga and arrested three individuals connected to the importing company. Eight others have been arrested in connection with the case, including a member of the police force. 

"Operations such as these certify the magnificent work of the security forces of the state and demonstrate that . . . we will continue to persecute drug traffickers on land, sea and air," said Zoido. "Those who traffic in drugs and those who help them should know that they will pay sooner or later for it." 

Columbian officials say that the shipment was owned by the Clan del Golfo (Gulf Clan), the nation's largest paramilitary gang.