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Spanish coast authorities seize 11 tons of cocaine linked to Albanian mafia

The Spanish police have made the largest seizure ever in Galicia, with 11 tonnes of cocaine imported by Albanian criminal organizations seized in two operations. The drugs came from Colombia via Ecuador and were found in containers that had arrived in the ports of Vigo, in Galicia, and Valencia. In the first operation, police in Vigo seized 7.5 tonnes of cocaine concealed in frozen tuna fillets, while the second operation in Valencia resulted in the seizure of 3.4 tonnes of cocaine hidden in the double bottoms of maritime containers. Twenty people were arrested in these two operations, the majority of whom were Albanians, but also included a Colombian, a Dominican, and several Spaniards.

According to Antonio Martínez Duarte, head of the Central Brigade of the Spanish police’s Drugs and Organised Crime Unit, the two operations have nothing to do with each other, but the organizations behind them are believed to be of Albanian origin. He also emphasized the power of the so-called ‘Balkan cartel’, referring to the mafias of south-eastern Europe, and their close interest to all European police forces.

Commissioner Carlos Gómez, head of the Central Drug Squad, commented that the control of cocaine trafficking in Europe has changed hands from hermetic, closed organizations to much more open, atomized, internationalized organizations. Albanian mafias have been monopolizing the transport of drugs not just in Europe, but also in Latin America, controlling the entire process from the place of origin to the final delivery.

The seizure highlights the importance and power of Balkan mafias in drug trafficking and the significant role of Galicia as a gateway to Europe for cocaine from Latin America. The Spanish police have dealt a major blow to the drug trafficking operations of the Albanian criminal organizations and are working closely with European police forces to combat the influence of the ‘Balkan cartel’ in the region.

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