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Eurojust assists in dismantling drug smuggling operation

​The Hague, 09 August 2013

Press Release Eurojust / la Guardia Civil

On 3 August, in a joint operation between the Civil Guard of Spain (la Guardia Civil), Eurojust, Europol, the Royal Gendarmes of Morocco and the French Police, an international gang involved in the smuggling of hashish from Morocco to Spain was dismantled. A number of searches and arrests were made in France, Portugal, Morocco and Spain.

As part of Operation INVIERNO, 36 gang members were arrested, and more than 1 500kg of hashish, one firearm, 13 vehicles, one boat, one motorcycle, more than two hundred mobile phones, numerous sets of scales and other tools used in the distribution of drugs and more than EUR 32 000 were seized. In addition, six international arrest warrants were filed.

The gang’s method of transporting the hashish from Morocco used the system known as “GO FAST”, in which high-purity drugs are transported hidden in the false bottoms of vehicles. Upon arrival in Spain, the drugs were distributed nationally and internationally, with shipments going to France, Portugal and Great Britain.

The leader of the gang, a Moroccan nicknamed “el Pellejo” (skin) or “Tafa”, was recently murdered in Ceuta, a part of Spain located in the north of Morocco, during a score-settling between drug-trafficking gangs. El Pellejo was known to the authorities and considered the “hard core” of the Iván Odero clan.

During the operation, searches and arrests were conducted in various areas of Morocco, France and Portugal, as well as in Cadiz, Malaga, Jaen, Madrid Pontevedra, Biscay, Navarre, Barcelona and Ceuta.

The development of this operation was made possible thanks to excellent collaboration between the police and judicial authorities of all countries involved, coordinated by Eurojust and Europol.

Photos: © La Guardia Civil (ES)

For more information, please contact:

Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST - Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508
E-mail: jthuy@eurojust.europa.eu