HomeNewsBriefSpain's Record Speed Seizure Illustrates Expansion Into New Drug Markets
BRIEF

Spain's Record Speed Seizure Illustrates Expansion Into New Drug Markets

COLOMBIA / 17 JUL 2014 BY CAMILO MEJÍA GIRALDO EN

Authorities in Spain seized 144 kilos of amphetamines from a transnational criminal group seeking to exploit established cocaine trafficking routes, highlighting the expansion of criminal organizations into new drug markets.

Spanish police arrested eight Colombians and three Europeans in an operation that resulted in the seizure of the amphetamine known as "speed," reported 20 Minutos. According to a police press release, the drug had been transported from Holland in liquid form in the gas tank of a car.

As part of the operation, police dismantled a laboratory and storage facility in the province of Guadalajara, where they discovered 120 kilos of speed. Spanish authorities searched a total of seven properties throughout the country that were allegedly used by the organization.

A Colombian national living in Valencia was identified as the head of the criminal group, which sought to use its established cocaine trafficking routes to expand into Europe's amphetamine market, according to the police press release.

According to EFE, the seizure is the largest of its kind in the European Union so far this year and the largest ever reported in Spain.

InSight Crime Analysis

The arrest of eight Colombians during the operation points to possible ties to Colombian drug trafficking groups. Several Colombian criminal organizations are known to have "oficinas de cobro" -- criminal structures used to carry out kidnappings, debt collecting and money laundering -- in Spain, and there are indications that Colombia's most powerful criminal group, the Urabeños, is expanding its presence in the country.

A Spanish police source told InSight Crime that several Colombian "oficinas de cobro" involved in the cocaine trade and microtrafficking in Spain have links to Holland. Earlier this year, Colombian authorities seized a 7 ton cocaine shipment in the port city of Cartagena, on a vessel headed to the Netherlands. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of European Organized Crime

The case of the recently dismantled speed trafficking group highlights the diversification of revenue streams as organizations utilize their existing trafficking routes to expand into other drug markets. This phenomenon was highlighted in a recent report (pdf) by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which states that criminal groups formerly dedicated to trafficking a single type of drug are now using the same routes to transport other illegal substances.   

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 26 JUL 2016

A New York court sentenced Daniel "El Loco" Barrera to 35 years in prison, closing the book not only…

ARGENTINA / 21 SEP 2011

Reports that two of Colombia’s most wanted drug traffickers traveled to Argentina to hold talks are only the latest evidence…

COLOMBIA / 30 DEC 2010

Authorities have seized 6.4 tons of drugs in Colombia's Pacific port of Buenaventura, the largest seizure of 2010. Police stated…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.