MADRID – Police seized more than a ton of Colombian cocaine and arrested 16 people in a raid on two international drug rings in Spain.
Spanish cops teamed up with forces in Colombia, the United States and the United Kingdom in the sting against two networks of drug traffickers.
They announced on Sunday that they have arrested 16 people across Spain and the UK.
Officers also seized 1,044 kilograms of cocaine, three guns, 100,000 euros, six vehicles and dozens of “blackphones,” special cell phones that guarantee private communication.
The criminal organizations, one Colombian and the other British, had paired up to share logistics but kept their structures separate, a police statement said on Sunday.
Spanish agents found the smugglers had used sophisticated electromechanical systems to hide the cocaine in vehicles.
The systems were activated by a complex system of magnets that drove a hydraulic system to lift the base of the trunk under which the stash was hidden.
Each group used different strategies in its operating methods.
The leader of the Colombians only traveled to Spain to coordinate the arrival and delivery of the drug, while the British were in charge of preparing and coordinating the reception and distributing part of the load to his group.
An investigation was launched in July when police learned of the arrival in Spain of one of the most prominent bosses from a group of Colombian drug traffickers.
Officers suspected that he was finalizing preparations to get a huge haul of cocaine into Spain and placed him under surveillance to see how he had contacts and the necessary infrastructure to introduce the drug.
After a long series of contacts and discussions, it was agreed to deliver to a car park in the town of Leganes, near Madrid.