Spanish police detained a Dutch gang of cocaine smugglers, mostly of Turkish descent, as they were smuggling cocaine from Latin American countries to Europe by sailboats, Deutsche Welle's Turkish service reported on Oct. 17.
Citing Dutch media reports, Deutsche Welle said that Spanish police carried out an operation on the sailboat “Goldwasser” off the coast of the Costa del Sol. The police initially found 2.5 tons of cocaine on the sailboat, but after the boat was towed to Vigo in northwestern Spain, a further 500 kilogram of cocaine were found.
The seized three kilograms of cocaine makes the operation one of the largest drug busts for the Spanish police.
The police also conducted simultaneous operations in the gang members' houses, where they seized weapons and approximately 35,000 euros in cash.
As part of the operation, at least five people have been detained, including the gang's 60-year-old leader. The Spanish media said the Dutch citizens were of Turkish descent and that among the gang members is also a Swede as well as U.S. citizens and Latin Americans.
The preparations for the operation dubbed "Midas-Ballestrinque” reportedly go back to 2019. The Spanish police initially conducted intelligence work to determine the people suspected of transporting cocaine by sea.
Afterwards, the police concentrated their works on boats sailing between Costa del Sol and Gibraltar. Afterwards, the Spanish authorities determined that the drug gang purchased the “Goldwasser” sailboat.