The Angolan-flagged ship 'Simione', about 45 meters long, which was boarded by the Civil Guard on December 18 in the middle of the Atlantic, after being monitored during its journey.Miguel Barreto (EFE)
The sea is the great ally of drug traffickers.
While the owners of drug production have spent decades putting their inexhaustible inventiveness to the test so that the caches they send are not discovered by the police, the Galician drug traffickers continue to face the same risks: getting the shipments to reach land so as not to lose their status in this global business.
For this long-distance race in which hundreds of millions of euros are at stake, the local gangs have recovered the maritime transport route that set the trend 30 years ago, using the same logistics as the historical organizations, but with greater naval infrastructure. what then.
The capture on December 18 of the Angolan-flagged fishing vessel
when it was approaching the Canary Islands with 3.3 tons of high-purity cocaine confirmed the return of the old methods, with the western coasts of Africa as a base for supplying ships and crews, and which, according to researchers, is safer for drug traffickers to transship large consignments.
But the operation of this gang based in the Rías Baixas was a failure, and the cargo losses are estimated at more than 100 euros.
Those responsible for the investigation, the Civil Guard teams against organized crime and anti-drugs, ECO and UCO and EDOA based in Pontevedra, place Pablo García and José Rodríguez, both from Vigo and with criminal records, at the top of the Galician gang. police.
The first focused on finding a ship and its crew to meet the mother ship, while Rodríguez, with a pending case for heroin trafficking, had the task of organizing the landing of the 115 bales that the
had on deck with the intervention of at least four boatmen.
The fact that the northwestern quadrant of Africa, in this case Senegal, has served as the base for logistics operations shows that the Galician group has reproduced the classic transportation methods that the historical organizations of the Galician drug trafficker perfected in their day.
They also used this African region, mainly Cape Verde, to stock up on boats and hire crews that apparently were engaged in fishing in these Atlantic waters so as not to arouse suspicion.
The investigation focused on monitoring various movements of Pablo García to Senegal and proving how he personally supervised the arrival of the shipment, taking charge of both the freight of the ship and the hiring of the crew.
They also planned which boats would go out to meet this ship from the Rías Baixas, a task that his partner José Rodríguez supervised.
The agents also found that the investigated group had sophisticated means for transporting the drug through different Spanish provinces, which allowed them to even do without other shuttle vehicles that would warn of possible police checks.
In addition, they had modern systems to hide the drug, incorporating hydraulic double bottoms in vehicles, as well as encrypted messaging to ensure communications between them.
The organization's follow-up made it possible to identify the ship that was going to transport the cocaine, which precipitated the boarding order by the court number one of Vigo.
It was the long-awaited cocaine cache that is usually seized at Christmas and the largest seized this year from Galician organizations.
Then a huge deployment of means and coordination was launched to locate the fishing boat in the middle of the journey in the direction of Spain.
For this, means of the Air and Maritime Service of the Civil Guard were used, who carried out an exhaustive search work.
On Sunday, December 18, agents of the Special Intervention Unit (UEI) and the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard, boarded the ship chartered by the Galician organization to the north of the Canary Islands.
In the operation directed from a court in Vigo, 16 detainees were found, although only six of them entered prison.
The first to fall were the three crew members of the fishing boat, and after the boarding an operation was launched in the provinces of Pontevedra, Ourense and A Coruña.
During the searches, at homes and companies, the agents also seized a kilo of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, high-end vehicles, encrypted electronic devices and other sophisticated detection devices using technical means, as well as abundant documentation and 20,000 euros in cash.
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