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Spanish police capture gang of drug traffickers who used cryptocurrencies to launder money

According to information from the Spanish National Police, the group of drug traffickers laundered profits through cryptocurrencies.

The National Police of Spain, in a joint operation with the Civil Guard of that country, arrested seven people residing in Seville, in the south of the nation, as alleged perpetrators of a crime of belonging to a criminal organization, against public health, possession illicit use of weapons of war and money laundering through cryptocurrencies.

As reported by the police in a press release, the operation began at the beginning of last year, when investigators became aware of a large-scale drug trafficking network that supplied cocaine to other drug traffickers in the city of Seville.

The operation, called Grande-Tragadera, managed to dismantle a sophisticated drug trafficking network that used, in turn, a network of companies dedicated to the sale of vehicles, workshops and other companies to launder the money obtained from said drug trafficking. In addition, the income was used for the investment of capital in cryptocurrencies.

The National Police and the Civil Guard carried out the operation in three different phases, in which more than 20 high-end vehicles, two motorcycles, more than 200,000 euros in cash and approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine were seized. On the other hand, car companies have been sealed and fiat money and cryptocurrency accounts have been blocked.

Three phases of an operation

In the first phase, the agents arrested the carrier of the organization with approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in a vehicle coming from Portugal. The second phase concluded with the registration of several network companies. The weapons of war, more than 200,000 euros in cash and some vehicles, as well as precise documentation on said organization, were located there.

The transport of the cocaine was hidden in “caves”, prepared by the organization with sophisticated electronic systems so as not to be detected. Some weapons of war were ready to be used, with plenty of ammunition, including an AK-47, a Z-45 submachine gun, shotguns and a revolver. The third phase concluded with nine searches in companies in Seville and Cádiz, in which documentation of tax companies, investment accounts in cryptocurrencies and vehicle sales companies were seized.

The detainees were taken to court by the Investigating Court No. 1 of Alcalá de Guadaíra, which ordered the organization’s carrier to be imprisoned and the other detainees released on charges. The investigation is still open to locate the whereabouts of the leader of the criminal network.

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