MALAGA, Spain – Spanish police have seized 170 kilograms (375 pounds) of marijuana that had been hidden among 20 tons of lettuce that were being transported to Ireland, national security forces said Thursday.
The joint operation between national police, the militarized civil guard and Irish police led to the arrest of five Irish nationals and the dismantling of a drug trafficking ring that was based on Spain’s southeastern Costa del Sol, said a police statement.
Investigators received a tip-off that drugs were being carried out of an industrial area and rushed to the site, where they followed and stopped a truck in which, “after an almost five-hour search, they found 170 kg of marijuana hidden among pallets filled with lettuce,” read the statement.
The investigation was launched in April, when Irish police warned Spanish authorities that they believed a drug trafficking ring was operating on the coast and was exporting drugs to Ireland.
Police also carried out four raids in which they seized three vehicles, 10 mobile phones, three computers and 20 tons of lettuce that have been donated to food banks.