350 kilos of hashish seized and 19 arrested in Tenerife and Lanzarote

2020/09/26 08:55:30 Written by Canarian Weekly Lanzarote

The Guardia Civil has dismantled an active criminal organization that was bringing large consignments of hashish from Africa into the Canary Islands, as well as trafficking heroin and cocaine, in an operation called Operacion Jamela, carried out in Tenerife and Lanzarote. 19 people have been arrested, 350 kg of hashish seized, as well as an inflatable boat, two engines, and 10,000 euros in cash.

The investigation began at the end of last year when the Guardia found out about a criminal organization based in the north of Tenerife, who were bringing in and selling significant quantities of hashish from Morocco. Their investigations made it possible to identify each of the people who made up the organization and the functions that each of them performed.

From this, they determined that the head of the organization, a Moroccan male who was initially settled in the town of El Fraile, was in charge of maintaining contacts with the hashish producers in Morocco.  Police also tracked him travelling to Lanzarote to personally control the entry of the drug into the island, and its subsequent concealment in a safe place.

Likewise, thanks to the progress of the investigation, it was possible to detect that a part of the criminal organization was based in the towns of El Fraile, Granadilla de Abona, and Buenavista del Norte in Tenerife, which was in charge of the subsequent distribution and sale of the narcotics.

This branch of the organization was not only dedicated to the sale of the Moroccan hashish but independently, they also had their own network for the distribution of heroin and cocaine.

DISTRIBUTION AND SALE OF THE NARCOTICS:
The operation was carried out in two different phases, one of them with the purpose of dismantling the part of the organization responsible for distribution and sale, and the other responsible for importing the narcotic substances.

At the end of May the first phase of the operation was organized, aimed at dismantling the network dedicated to the distribution, during which six houses were searched in Granadilla, Buenavista and El Fraile, where six people were arrested, 5kg of hashish, materials for the preparation of sale, and 6,500 euros in cash were seized.

Connected to these, and prior to that date, several other interventions had been carried out, in which 32kg of hashish, 150g of heroin and 21g of cocaine had been seized, with another seven people arrested, who it turns out were all related to this group.

IMPORTATION OF THE NARCOTIC SUBSTANCES:

At the same time during the progress of the investigation, the Guardia Civil discovered how the Moroccan leader of the organisation had travelled to Lanzarote to direct personally, the importation of a batch of hashish through the use of pneumatic boats.

After several months of negotiations with the producers of the narcotic substance in Morocco, and due to the difficulties that the organization encountered in moving the drugs due to confinement measures because of Covid-19, they achieved their goal by bringing a boat to the island of Lanzarote at the end of July.

Once the shipment had been prepared, the organization had an infrastructure in charge of bringing it into the island and then transferring it to a safe hiding place, a place commonly known as a ‘nursery’, until it was released on to the market. Once in the ‘nursery’, it was broken down into smaller batches.

At the beginning of August, when they were preparing to remove a consignment from the nursery, which was located in the town of Tinajo, they were intercepted by the Guardia Civil investigation unit, who stopped one of their vehicles and arrested the three occupants in possession of approximately 30kg of hashish.

Following this intervention, four searches were made in the towns of Arrecife and Tinajo, in Lanzarote, where three more people were arrested, and 270kg of hashish, a pneumatic boat, and 3,000 euros in cash were seized.

The Operation was directed by the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 4 of Granadilla de Abona (Tenerife), and the Anti-Drug Prosecutor's Office of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and developed by the Territorial Team of the Judicial Police of Playa de las Américas, the Team against Organized Crime and Anti-drug (EDOA) both from the Organic Unit of Judicial Police of the Command of the Civil Guard of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and the Team Against Organized Crime of the Canary Islands (ECO-Canarias) of the Central Operational Unit of the Guardia Civil.