Nine men have been arrested and two women are being investigated for the crimes of belonging to a criminal group, drug trafficking, falsifying public documents and illegal possession of weapons. A large amount of drugs, vehicles, mobile devices, documentation and weapons have been seized. Orihuela Court decreed prison without bail for the three main perpetrators.
The investigations began in January 2022, specifically in the customs area of the Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, when the Fiscal Analysis and Investigation Office (ODAIFI) intercepted two packages with more than 2,200 kilograms of hashish bound for France.
The Territorial Team of the Judicial Police of Pilar de la Horadada, in order to clarify the origin and the senders of the drug, launched an investigation.
In the first phase of the operation, after analysing all the information and evidence obtained, the investigators identified two 28-year-old French men who, regularly and with forged documentation, sent parcels to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
After investigating the two men, police located their homes and a clandestine cannabis association with which they were linked, all located in Orihuela Costa. The person in charge of the illegal club was a 26-year-old Russian man, who worked for the two French men.
In February, at Valencia-Manises International Airport, two new packages with more than 2 kilograms of marijuana and destined for the Netherlands were intercepted. Those being investigated, realising that their packages did not reach their destinations, modified the modus operandi, sending their subsequent drug shipments from an ordinary post office.
Police also carried out a raid earlier this year in which the gang lost merchandise worth more than 70,000 euros. After this, they improved their security, moved to a new safer address and acquired various self-defence weapons.
After obtaining information from the UK authorities, the supplier of the drug was identified as a 30-year-old British citizen and resident of Orihuela Costa. He himself, along with others under investigation, ran five indoor marijuana plantations throughout the province of Alicante.
On September 1, at a routine check, the underage son of the British supplier was arrested for drug trafficking in San Miguel de Salinas. Officers said that “it was possible to verify how he did not hesitate to use his own son with an electric scooter to make sales.”
The final phase of the operation was carried out on September 28, when police carried out nine simultaneous house raids in Orihuela Costa, Torrevieja, San Miguel de Salinas, Crevillente, Agost, Miranda-Cartagena (Murcia), Balsicas-Torre Pacheco (Murcia), and also at a clandestine cannabis association of Orihuela Costa. Officers had the support of the USECICs (the Guardia Civil’s Rapid Response Unit) from Alicante, Torrevieja and Murcia as well as several canine units and Guardia Civil Officers from both Alicante and Murcia.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of eight men, aged between 23 and 50 years of French, British, Russian, Bolivian, Colombian and Spanish nationality, as well as a British minor.
The next day, two women of Bulgarian and Colombian nationality, aged 27 and 38, were also questioned.
During the operation, 479 marijuana plants, almost 4 kilograms of hashish, more than 10 kilograms of marijuana buds, 100 millilitres of pure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) normally used to vape with electronic cigarettes, other quantities of drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA) were seized along with more than 70,000 euros, 2 short firearms, 1 camouflaged taser flashlight weapon, 2 large machetes, 4 cars, 2 vans, 1 large-capacity motorcycle and 1 jet ski. In addition, forged official identification documentation, mobile phone devices and other documentation was seized.

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