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Spain obtains more than one million euro from Europol to fight transnational organised crime

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Spain has obtained an important source of extra financing, exceeding one million euro, in support of transnational police operations aimed at combating organised crime in fields as diverse as the trafficking of cannabis, heroin and cocaine; trafficking in human beings or facilitating illegal immigration; crimes against property or the environment, and illicit firearms trafficking, among other matters.

These funds, offered to the Member States of the European Union through Europol, have two modalities: one known as HVG, aimed mainly at the strategic part, and another known as LVG for eminently operational aspects.

This instrument has made it possible in 2021 to obtain important specialised technical material used by the National Police and Guardia Civil units in the investigations carried out within the Operational Action Plans of EMPACT priorities.

Specifically, aid has been obtained for more than twenty operations in which numerous arrests and seizures have been carried out, some of them are still open or under development. The amount obtained by Spain in 2021 exceeds one million euro.

One of the last operations carried out by the State Security Forces and Bodies last December allowed the arrest of one of the most wanted drug traffickers at the international level in an operation carried out by the Guardia Civil in Barcelona in which they have also agents of the French Gendarmerie, the Belgian Police and the US DEA participated.

In “Operation MVRAND”, the Guardia Civil dismantled one of the most important criminal organisations in the introduction of narcotics in Europe as well as money laundering. A total of 17 people were arrested, eleven of them of Spanish nationality and six Moroccan, in the 16 searches carried out in the provinces of Barcelona, ​​Pontevedra and Cádiz.

In addition, close to one million euro in cash, ten high-end vehicles, a boat, watches and jewellery valued at more than three million euro were intervened, as well as 18,000 euro in the National Lottery for the Christmas draw on December 22.

Among the detainees was the leader of this organisation and the main objective of the operation, a Moroccan citizen who is considered directly responsible in Spain for the introduction of 4,300 kilograms of hashish in San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia) and 1,800 kilograms of cocaine on the Galician coasts, both in 2021, appearing as a target of interest also for the main international anti-drug trafficking agencies.

He is also considered responsible for the introduction of more than one ton of cocaine on the El Jadida coast of Morocco in December 2018, for which two of the detainees in this operation had an International Detention Order (OID) in force. .

For its part, the National Police this summer carried out another important operation in which the largest cocaine distribution network in Europe, operating through more than five countries, was dismantled.

Specifically, it is “Operation MUSALA-IBIZA”, coordinated through Europol and jointly developed by the National Police of Spain, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Slovenia, the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration) and Colombia.

As a final result, 2.6 tons of cocaine were seized, 70 kilos of marijuana buds and thirteen people were arrested after a year of investigation into a drug trafficking network that operated internationally. In addition, the National Police seized 200,000 euro in cash, nine high-end vehicles and five motorcycles, a firearm and cartridges (300 cartridges) along with another simulated weapon (glock) and a police service identification plate, various weapons whitewashed, computer and telecommunications equipment, several of them equipped with encrypted messaging systems as well as 50 mobile phones, camera detectors, frequency jammers and a multitude of documentation related to the organisation’s companies.

The operation in Spain involved simultaneous actions in five provinces: Madrid, Valencia, Marbella, Barcelona and Tarragona.

This result is the result of the joint work of the EMPACT National Coordinator team, whose figure falls on the director of the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) of the Ministry of the Interior, of different Units of the Guardia Civil and National Police and of the International Foundation for Ibero-America of Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

The director of the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) and National EMPACT coordinator, Manuel Navarrete, highlighted that “the range of media purchased and the amounts obtained by Spain have been increasing every year, which shows the active participation and good work that is being developed, as a result of the excellent coordination between CITCO, Guardia Civil, National Police and FIIAPP “.

EMPACT Platform (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats)

EMPACT, whose priorities are set for four-year periods, provides an operational platform in the fight against the criminal threats that most affect the EU, as highlighted in the European Union Security Strategy and the Strategy of the EU. EU against serious and organised crime for 2022-2025.

Through the joint work of the police and customs bodies of the Member States, third States, European agencies such as Europol, Frontex, Cepol and European and international organisations specialised in the matter, possible synergies and areas of joint activities are identified that are reflected in Operational Action Plans.

A new “Political Cycle” will begin in 2022 (2022-2025), for which ten criminal priorities have been set. Spain will continue to lead the activities aimed at combating illicit firearms trafficking and the trafficking of cannabis, cocaine and heroin, through the active participation of components of the National Police, the Guardia Civil and the State Agency for Tax Administration (AEAT), all supervised by the national EMPACT coordinator at the national level, and by Europol at the European level.

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