It was the criminal organization with the greatest potential in the production and trafficking of synthetic drugs in the history of drug trafficking in Spain from two laboratories for the production of amphetamine, MDMA, methamphetamine and the one known as ‘pink cocaine’, in Barcelona in addition to a center of drug storage. This is how a band based in Barcelona, Malaga, and Ibiza acted but that acted throughout Spain and Europe and that has been dismantled after a joint operation between the National Police and the Civil Guard, in which 11 people of different nationalities were arrested.
This is the operation that has allowed the seizure of the largest cache of synthetic drugs in Spain and the second in Europe, the most important in the last 20 years in ecstasy, according to those responsible for the investigation. Also, they detailed that the drug manufactured by the organization was destined to supply the black market in the Spanish Mediterranean area (Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, Valencia, and Catalonia). In the “Latrans-Girasol-Muhlberg” operation, 827,000 MDMA pills (200 kilograms), 76 kilograms of amphetamine sulfate, 39.5 kilograms of glass, 217 liters of liquid amphetamine, with a production capacity of 738 kilograms have been intervened of amphetamine sulfate or speed, 310 kilograms of hashish, 89 kilograms of marijuana, 2,000 doses of LSD, and 1.65 kilograms of pink cocaine.
126 liters of sulfuric acid, six liters of hydrochloric acid, three liters of acetone, 20 kilograms of cutting substance, and 25 liters of various precursor liquids for the manufacture of various synthetic drugs have also been seized. The organization operated from Barcelona, with two laboratories for the final manufacture of a drug that came from the Netherlands. They also had a warehouse in which they accumulated quantities of illicit substances. The police officials point out that to finance the synthetic drug that came from the Netherlands, both in MDMA pills format and in liquid amphetamine for its manufacture in the clandestine laboratories of Barcelona, they sent large quantities of hashish and marijuana, from Malaga and Barcelona to its subsequent sale in Europe.
This hashish and marijuana were transported in manipulated three-phase electrical transformers, which were shipped under the guise of licit merchandise with classic cars. These transformers had inside a double bottom with the capacity to transport hundreds of kilograms of drugs per trip and were equipped with a sophisticated electrical-hydraulic opening system designed to make their discovery impossible and ensure the concealment of the substances.
Once the hashish bales or the vacuum-packed bags with marijuana were delivered in Holland, they took advantage of the return trip of those same transformers to transport the synthetic drug to Spain. The next step, once the synthetic drug arrived in our country, was to process it, an activity for which they used “cooks”, people who are experts in the manufacture of different chemical components to obtain the final drug, amphetamine sulfate ‘speed’, methamphetamine or MDMA, a process that took place in the two laboratories that this criminal structure had installed in Barcelona.
Its main networks for the trafficking of different substances were located in Ibiza, Malaga, and Barcelona, where the organization had logistic houses from which they distributed the drug throughout Spain using rental cars and double-bottomed vehicles for this purpose, with which they could move the synthetic narcotic substance without being detected.
The organization used mobile encrypted messaging terminals to communicate, with devices for blocking/erasing/encrypting the phone and provided with a panic button in the face of adversity that would mean that their mobile terminals were intervened. The investigation lasted a year and last October two synthetic drug manufacturing laboratories were dismantled in Barcelona, with three detainees. One of the laboratories provided the organization with a large capacity in the manufacture of narcotic substances; the second, although less productive than the previous one, also served to store drugs.
In this phase of the operation, 174,000 MDMA pills, 40 kilograms of amphetamine sulfate (speed), 10 liters of Benzyl Methyl Ketone (production substance, also to make speed), 25 liters of liquid amphetamine mixed with the precursor, 18 kg. of cutting substance (lidocaine, caffeine, levamisole), different acids for its preparation (hydrochloric and sulfuric acid), as well as material for the preparation, packaging, and weighing of the drug, cash, and mobile terminals together with its encryption device and a motorcycle.
The main leaders of the gang were of Dutch nationality. Precisely in the second phase in November, the distribution system with this country was dismantled, which meant that the main leaders of the organization moved to the province of Malaga since they had the infrastructure to continue with drug trafficking. The investigators discovered a possible shipment of a narcotic substance from the province of Malaga to the Netherlands, transported in a truck as possible legal merchandise, and with a CMR consignment note.
The agents decided to monitor the route of the truck to the Irún border with France, where a vehicle inspection device was established and through which it was discovered that it was transporting two classic cars as well as two three-phase electrical transformers. These transformers had a double bottom with an electric-hydraulic opening system that concealed 310 kg inside. of hashish bales and 89 kg. of marijuana vacuum packed.
At the end of November, ten registrations were made (five of them simultaneous) in the provinces of Malaga, Barcelona, and Ibiza. Nine people were arrested in these cities, the entire middle level of the organization, as well as the head of the organization, a Dutch citizen. The organization’s main warehouse, located in Barcelona, was also dismantled, where 651,000 tablets of MDMA (ecstasy), 35,242 kg, were intervened. of amphetamine sulfate (speed), 2000 doses of LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), 39.5 kg. crystal (methamphetamine), 180 liters of high purity liquid amphetamine, 1.3 kg. cutting substance 1650 kg
Two firearms -a revolver and a semiautomatic pistol-, two mortar grenades, a machete, computers, encrypted telephones with their messaging encryption devices, five vehicles, and three boats were seized in the searches in homes and logistical locations of the organization. recreation -two jet skis and a boat-. Also, investigators have blocked 23 bank accounts – around 100,000 – linked to all members of the organization arrested. In one of the searches, a member of the criminal organization shot at agents of the tactical units who ‘assaulted’ the house where he was.
Police officials emphasize the importance of the 217 liters of liquid amphetamine intervened, an amount that if it had been processed in the laboratories that the organization had in Barcelona would have produced about 738 kilograms of amphetamine sulfate (speed), constituting the largest apprehension of amphetamine that has never been produced in Spain.