Rabat - Spanish authorities have arrested nine Spaniards, seven French, and Moroccan nationals forming two international drug rings that relied on helicopters to smuggle hashish from Morocco into Spain.
Rabat – Spanish authorities have arrested nine Spaniards, seven French, and Moroccan nationals forming two international drug rings that relied on helicopters to smuggle hashish from Morocco into Spain.
A press release issued on Thursday by Guardia Civil said the groups transported the hashish to remote farms in the southern province of Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol and then shipped it overland to other European nations.
“The smuggling rings employed a veteran flight instructor who was an expert in mountain rescues and night flights,” the release said, pointing out that the flight instructor would recruit and train other pilots employed by the smuggling rings.
The flying instructor smuggled hashish from Morocco to Costa del Sol in dangerous night flights at a low altitude in an attempt to avoid discovery.
This man was detained when instructing another pilot on an overnight flight from Morocco. After their arrest, authorities discovered the haul of some 600 kilos of hashish.
The investigation also uncovered the person who acquired, financed, and matriculated the captured helicopter.
Of the 15 arrested, six are Spanish, seven French and two Moroccans, who will face charges of drug trafficking, belonging to a criminal organization, illicit possession of firearms, and receiving drugs.
Among the items confiscated, Guardia Civil listed three helicopters worth an estimated €2.5 million, 810 kilos of Hashish, four cars, flight books, cash, and night vision, as well as navigation equipment and computers.