Another setback to drug logistics led to the arrest of 60 people involved in the manufacture of high-speed craft (EAV) and the confiscation of 47 of those gliders, which belonged to a Galician organization. The strike by the Organized Crime and Anti-Drug (EDOA) team of the Pontevedra Civil Guard Judicial Police comes on top of the previous operation, carried out in April, which saw the extraction of more than a hundred narcolanchas.
Together with the Coordination Unit Against Drug Trafficking in Andalusia (Ocon Sur) and agents of the Portuguese Judicial Police, Operation Endurance began in the early hours of June 21 under the direction of the Investigative Court 8 of Vigo. The detainees are suspected members of a large organization that operated from various locations in the Rías Baixas and had branches in several Spanish provinces and northern Portugal. Its mission was to manufacture, tune and stockpile a large number of EAV ships known as Narcolanchas.
The investigation began in February 2021 when EDOA agents from the Pontevedra Civil Guard managed to intercept a ship coming from the Cotogrande industrial area in Puxeiros, Vigo, where boats were manufactured to transport large quantities of hashish in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar .
The seizure of a huge shuttle in Pontevedra, which got stuck in the trailer when drug traffickers were about to throw it into the sea, sparked the police investigation. It could be demonstrated that there was a perfectly structured framework covering the entire boat manufacturing process, from the initial construction phase and completion of the EAVs in southern Galicia and northern Portugal, to the entrusted transport companies of these boats into safe ships, according to sources from the investigation.
Investigations led agents to discover that the organization had these security vessels in provinces such as Toledo and Seville, where they had just outfitted the boats before launching them into the sea at various locations around the country, preferably in the waters of Andalusia and Galicia.
In addition, the organization had highly specialized members for the manufacture, storage and preparation of ships with powerful engines and sophisticated navigation systems. The police pursuit of this organization of drug boat manufacturers made it possible to seize a ton of hashish in early June, the bundles of which were removed from one of these EAV boats on El Vigía beach in Mazagón, Huelva.
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The device triggered a cascade of arrests, 59 in total, in the provinces of Pontevedra, Ourense, Barcelona, Tarragona, Toledo, Cádiz, Huelva, Málaga, Seville and Almería. A European Arrest Warrant was also requested to arrest in Portugal one of the chief shipyard business leaders for the drug trafficker, who was resident in the neighboring country.
Since this Tuesday, numerous searches have been carried out in homes in the province of Pontevedra, on Portuguese ships in Ponte da Lima, Valença and Paredes de Coura, Monçao, as well as in the provinces of Toledo, Seville, Huelva, Girona and Barcelona in the large EAV hulls and -Forms have intervened, some of which are 12 meters long, as well as powerful outboard engines of 300, 350 and 400 hp. Trucks and trailers used to transport the boats were also confiscated, as well as extensive documentation and computer equipment belonging to the organisation.
Of the 47 boats seized in Spain and Portugal, more than a dozen were seaworthy. Investigators believe they would be immediately used to smuggle large shipments of narcotics for various groups of traffickers, police said.