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Drug-induced sweet sellers arrested



Guardia Civil agents, in a joint operation with the National Police, have dismantled an organisation dedicated to the Internet sale of gummies contaminated with synthetic drugs.

The members of the organisation, of Dutch origin and based on the Costa del Sol, made postal shipments of the narcotic throughout Europe. In addition, they had created a complex network of companies for the concealment and subsequent laundering of money.

Seven home searches have been carried out in properties on the Costa del Sol (Fuengirola, Mijas, Estepona) and the Canary Islands (Maspalomas). Among other substances, 12,000 bags of gummies and snacks impregnated with THC, 281 liquid cannabis vapes, and 49 packages of different weights containing cocaine have been seized.

The investigation began when the agents received a communication from the Belgian Police according to which a person, of Dutch nationality, had been arrested at a parcel collection point with a shipment of 700 grams of a narcotic substance, specifically synthetic cathinone (3MMC).

Following this arrest, agents began an investigation to find out what organisation was behind this incident. The investigators thus discovered that the network that had made the shipment was responsible for many other small, low-value shipments, through different logistics companies and using different recipients. It was observed that during the investigation numerous shipments were made to Maspalomas.

The leaders of the organisation were a Dutch couple, well positioned on the Costa del Sol, with a high standard of living, with numerous properties and businesses – even a gym – in their name in the areas of Fuengirola, Mijas and Estepona. Both coordinated shipments of all types of substances.

In one of the numerous meetings that the couple had, the agents identified a man of Dutch nationality who seemed to have a “business” of creating narcotic substances independently of the leaders. The modus operandi of this organisation consisted of acquiring sweets and snacks from different places, such as Holland or directly from factories in Levante, or even from China where the name was different, which they then contaminated with cannabinoids. To avoid being discovered, the members of this group used storage rooms and different properties to store the products. Furthermore, the main person investigated did not reside in a single place, but rather chained vacation rentals successively and frequently changed vehicles.

Investigators discovered that the organisation had two storage rooms in the town of Mijas. In one of them they located legal merchandise such as snacks, sweets or vapes, which did not contain narcotics. Later, after leaving them for a reasonable amount of time, they picked them up and took them to one of the properties they had rented, where they had established a rudimentary kitchen-laboratory where they prepared the psychotropic mixtures and preparations. In this place, they also infused the sweets – they eliminated their exterior sugars and liquefied the cannabis preparations so that they were impregnated – or used aerosols to impregnate them. This method is very dangerous for health since it does not allow the exact doses to be controlled, in addition to being more attractive to children and minors. The products were later marketed in Malaga and Holland.

When the agents had controlled all the locations of the organisation, three members were arrested and four properties and two storage rooms were searched in the towns of Mijas and Estepona. During the searches, material for the preparation of narcotic substances, labelling and bagging, as well as significant amounts of money and cryptowallets, were seized.

A company created to carry out shipments

The second phase of the research focused on the main branch of the organisation. Throughout this, dozens of seizures of different synthetic drugs linked to this criminal network were made, intercepting up to 49 packages containing 3MMC or 2MMC, 78,500 doses of Etizolam, three kilos of MDPHP – derived from the cannibal drug. To ship these substances, the organisation had created a company that always appeared as the sender of the shipments. The organisation had built a commercialisation of drug trafficking, through this company created by themselves, carrying out the sale of synthetic drugs covertly under their declared legal activity. The recipients of the drugs paid the price through bank transfers, with more than one and a half million euro entering the account during the period analysed. The company declared the income as sales of products such as chemical raw materials, vitamins or sports products. The organisation showed a high degree of sophistication, both in drug trafficking and money laundering.

When they had already collected all the information, the agents began to exploit the operation, arresting four members of the organisation, three of Dutch nationality and one Spanish. In addition, seven home searches were carried out in properties on the Costa del Sol, specifically in Málaga, Mijas, Estepona, and Maspalomas (Gran Canaria). In these searches, different types of synthetic drugs, firearms and cash were found. There has been the blocking of nearly 620,000 euro in national accounts and the blocking of real estate properties valued at 1.5 million euro and high-end cars. In addition, the arrest of another individual is expected.

The post Drug-induced sweet sellers arrested appeared first on Spain Today – Breaking Spanish News, Sport, and Information.



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