A large-scale operation in several countries, with the support of agencies such as the FBI, has allowed the arrest of 42 suspected traffickers of an Albanian criminal organization that “flooded Europe with cocaine” from South America, in which its members traveled to countries such as Colombia and Mexico to organize their activities.
The Spanish Police reported on the “Casino” operation carried out in seven European countries, coordinated by Europol and Eurojust, the European police and justice collaboration entities, respectively, with the support of anti-crime agencies such as the United States FBI and the UK NCA.
About thirty arrests occurred in Belgium, another eight in Spain, two in Croatia and another two in the Netherlands, while two people are being investigated in Italy and Croatia and two more in Germany.
The investigators point out that all of them were part of one of the most important drug trafficking organizations in Europe, dedicated to the distribution of cocaine throughout the continent.
The operation was attended by 580 members of the security forces of Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia and the United Kingdom.
According to the Spanish Police, the detainees imported cocaine from South America, introduced it through European ports and organized its subsequent transport in planes, boats, trucks and cars.
In this way, they assumed the complete supply chain, from the origin to its final destination.
In a statement, the Police indicate that in Spain and other European countries profits from cocaine trafficking were laundered.
Specifically, this organization had a “complex corporate structure” based on the Spanish island of Mallorca (Mediterranean) that allegedly laundered illicit profits.
In Mallorca alone, the value of money “laundering” exceeds US$ 34 million in real estate investments.
Also in Germany and Croatia there were similar structures, which used figureheads for money laundering.
In different countries, high-end vehicles, boats, 86 works of art worth more than five million euros (US $ 5.6 million), cash and cryptocurrencies, luxury watches, weapons, including pistols, were confiscated. cocaine, encrypted communication terminals and precursors for the preparation of narcotics.
Members of this gang frequently traveled to Dubai, Mexico and Colombia to organize their businesses and used encrypted communication tools to coordinate their activities.
The agents believe that a large amount of the cocaine intervened in recent years in numerous searches carried out throughout Europe, one of them in 2020 in the Spanish city of Barcelona with 440 kilos seized, are linked to this Albanian organization.
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