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 / 8 AUG 2012

A new report describes the shifting role of an unnamed female crime boss in Medellin's fractured mafia, evidence that the…

COLOMBIA / 16 DEC 2016

Colombia's FARC have expelled five of their commanders, some of whom are powerful historical figures, a revealing indication of the…

COLOMBIA / 16 MAR 2019

There is now a clear and present criminal menace and national security threat taking shape, and the Colombian government may…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…