An investigation by Spain’s most-circulated newspaper has revealed “a tale of illegal immigration, money laundering, and arms and drug trafficking, as well as tobacco smuggling” which is overwhelming the Mediterranean country.
55-year-old Miguel, operations chief at Customs Surveillance Service, told the El Pais newspaper: “We are in a state of war. And right now they are winning almost all the battles.
“This has turned into warfare,” a veteran police officer agreed. “And we are losing.”
The investigative report — which focuses primarily on boat-borne shipments of illegal drugs and tobacco into Spain from Morocco — suggests politicians and the police are fearful of the “South Americanization” of the drugs trade in the country, with crime syndicates dominated by individuals of North African origin heavily armed and increasingly willing to use violence against law enforcement.
South American cartels have, in fact, begun to participate directly in the trade, with a joint Spanish-Moroccan operation intercepting a shipment of 5,677 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Western Sahara towards the end of 2016.
In terms of violence, El Pais describes the June 8th killing of 46-year-old police officer Víctor Sánchez, who was run down by tobacco smugglers during a chase, as a “turning point”.
After being brought across the Strait of Gibraltar on motorised boats similar to the ones used by the people-smugglers who service the transportation of illegal migrants, drugs are raced to safehouses at top speeds: “Typically three vehicles are involved: one to pave the way, one to carry the load, and another one to ram into any police patrol bold enough to chase them,” the report notes.
Speaking to a Moroccan “boss of bosses” based in the Costa del Sol, the newspaper was told: “If I wanted to order a shipment right now, all I would have to do is send two messages from this cellphone: one to Morocco and the other one to someone here in Spain”.
He added: “Even if cannabis were legalized, large-scale trafficking would continue. Just look at the Netherlands …. These days, more hash is coming in that ever.”
Profits from the trade, which can run into the millions of euros, are said to be filtered through Morocco and Dubai, where there are fewer checks on the money’s origins.
Spain has been recently identified as the fasted growing route for illegal migrants in the Mediterranean, as the Greece route became impassable and growing numbers of migrants realised crossing to Italy from Libya could be a death sentence at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers.
Breitbart London reported in June how Spain had already taken three times more illegals in 2017 than the previous year, with more coming all the time.