MADRID– Spain’s Civil Guard said on Friday it seized 14 metric tons (15.4 tonnes) of hashish from Morocco and arrested 49 people as it took down a major drug trafficking ring.
The gang was considered the largest operating in Spain, regularly transporting up to 20 metric tons (19.7 tons) of hashish per month from North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula, according to a statement from the Guardia Civil.
The smugglers were heavily armed, police said, as rival gangs usually attempt to steal the drugs, which landed on Spain’s southern coast near Cadiz and along the Guadalquivir River, the statement said.
The operation involved around 400 police officers and began in December 2021 after authorities became aware of the gang.
The smugglers were well organized, police said, with separate groups responsible for loading, high-speed motorboats, fuel supplies and food.