Spain and France arrested traffickers who used helicopters to transport drugs from Morocco.
The Spanish Civil Guard and the French anti-drug agency, supported by Europol, arrested members of a peculiar network involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
The 11 people arrested, ten in Spain and one in France, smuggled hashish and marijuana from Morocco to Andalusia before going to France, the Spanish Civil Guard explains on January 9.
But they didn’t transport the drugs by boat or plane from Morocco to Spain. Instead, they used helicopters modified to transport cannabis.
Once in Spain, they would smuggle drugs to France by “go fast”, or in legal cargos transported by heavy trucks.
The investigation, called COPA-SUCRE, started in 2020 when French authorities notified Spain that they detected a network operating on their territory, too.
During the investigation, they identified a helicopter without a flight plan landing off the Andalusian coast from Morocco illegally. A man unloaded and carried out bales containing hashish.
Authorities seized 4 helicopters in total, along with 4 trucks, cars, firearms, ammunition, 2,400 kilograms of hashish and 112kg of marijuana in the south of Spain and France.
The network is also involved in money laundering through shell companies. Nine other people are also pending arrests in France with European arrest warrants.