Underwater ‘drug drones’ seized in Spain
Spanish police have seized three unmanned underwater drones capable of transporting large quantities of narcotics across the Strait of Gibraltar, connecting Morocco and Spain, authorities said on Monday.
This is the first time Spanish police have managed to capture this type of vehicle. They were reportedly due to be delivered to French drug dealers to transport cocaine. Eight suspects were also arrested during the operation.
According to a press release, two drones were being assembled and another was almost ready to go. They could apparently carry up to 200kg of cargo each. “These devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large quantities of narcotics remotely across the Strait of Gibraltar,” the police said.
Authorities say the gang was inserting false bottoms into vehicles to transport drugs. Officers detected up to 13 vehicles of different types used for drug trafficking, some of the compartments were inside trailers and capable of holding 800kg of cargo.
The police also impounded a large amount of narcotics, including 145kg of hashish, 8kg of marijuana as well as more than €157,000 ($164,000) in cash.
🚩Desmantelada una organización que fabricaba #drones y #semisumergibles capaces de cruzar el Estrecho con hasta 200 kg de droga📍Hay 8 personas detenidas en #Cádiz, #Málaga y #Barcelona👉1ª vez que se intervienen vehículos que operan bajo el agua sin tripulación a bordo pic.twitter.com/P81cRwjIVx— Policía Nacional (@policia) July 4, 2022
The investigation spanned 14 months and found that those arrested provided logistical services to various criminal gangs with clients in Italy, France and Denmark.
Spain remains a major drug trafficking hub due to its proximity to Morocco, a leading producer of cannabis and a transit point for cocaine shipments to Europe. Spain also has close ties with former colonies in South America, notorious for its cocaine production.