MADRID – Spain’s National police announced on Monday it had dismantled a large cocaine processing laboratory and arrested a number of alleged drug-trafficking gang members in eastern Valencia, hours after busting another important drug operation in northwestern Galicia.
A joint police operation undertaken by Portuguese, Colombian and Spanish security forces dismantled one of Europe’s largest clandestine cocaine re-processing laboratories in a chalet in El Puig (Valencia) and arrested 11 gang-members of Spanish, Colombian and Albanian nationality in an operation spanning Spain’s provinces of Madrid, Malaga, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, and Pontevedra.
“We have dismantled one of Europe’s largest cocaine processing labs, in an isolated chalet in El Puig, Valencia,” police said in a statement.
The organization allegedly introduced large quantities of the drug camouflaged inside legal products and later, in a clandestine lab, extracted the coca paste to produce the hydrochloride of cocaine final product.
The operation was Spanish police’s second major drug-bust in 24 hours after 10 containers were impounded Sunday in the Galician port of Marin (Pontevedra), among them one transporting 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of cocaine and over 8,500 liters (2,245 gallons) of chemical precursors used for cocaine processing, earmarked for the Valencia lab.
Eight persons were arrested in Spain and Portugal, according to Spanish authorities in Pontevedra.
The police investigation said the drug haul arrived from South America to the port of Leixoes in O Porto (Portugal) and then made its way to Galicia.
According to police sources contacted by EFE, the drug haul was impounded in the Pontevedra town of Tuy, enabling the arrest of the eight alleged gang members in the Spanish provinces of Pontevedra and Ourense.
The court of Vilagarcia de Arousa (Pontevedra) which coordinated the operation has said further arrests were not discounted.