The End of the Uruguayan International Gang of Cocaine Trafficking
By Dialogo June 16, 2009Barcelona (Spain), June 15 (EFE).- The Spanish police has liquidated the organization involved in cocaine trafficking in an operation where Portuguese and Uruguayan authorities collaborated, and by which more than twenty people have been arrested in Spain, in the last months. Of the 21 arrested members, fourteen are in jail; twelve are citizens of Spain, six of Uruguayan, two are Colombian citizens and one is Moroccan. These events date back to the beginnings of May 2008, when the organization, which was also involved in counterfeit euros, intended to smuggle into Spain several containers filled with 600 kilograms of cocaine from the port of Montevideo and through the port of Vigo (Northern Spain). The drugs, hidden inside the boxes of frozen fish, did not reach Spain because the Uruguayan Police seized the containers while during the operation which resulted in 21 arrests and the seizure of 319 kilograms of cocaine. The operation called "Venus-Pesquero", was launched tracing several fake bills of € 20 and € 50 euros, which led to the criminal organization attempting to smuggle cocaine through the port of Vigo in May 2008. Several months later, in November 2008, the same organization tried to send 124 kilograms of cocaine hidden in fishing nets; and this cargo was intercepted again by the Uruguayan Police in a different operation, which resulted in the arrest of 12 individuals, two of them Spanish. The police investigation in Spain led to intercept of 31 kilograms of cocaine ready for sale. In December 2008, one of the leaders of the gang was arrested in Barcelona while purchasing cocaine from several Uruguayan citizens. Despite this arrest, the gang remained active, and several of its members attempted to deliver new cocaine cargos from South America to Spain. By mid of last January, one of them traveled to Sao Paulo (Brazil) to transport two kilograms of coke hidden between twelve towels and was arrested in Lisbon. Last April four people were arrested in Palma (Majorca, in the Mediterranean) carrying 15 kilograms of cocaine, which facilitated the arrest of other gang members in Catalonia (Northeast). Finally, the police arrested in Barcelona and its province other three members of this organization in the beginnings of June.