Home News Algerian ‘taxi boats’ were loaded with drugs

Algerian ‘taxi boats’ were loaded with drugs

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Seven people have been arrested for arranging ‘taxi boats’ to Spain loaded with illegal immigrants who were carrying drugs

The Guardia Civil has dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the irregular introduction of Algerians into Spain and drug trafficking through ‘taxi boats’. In total, officers arrested seven people and seized 68 kilograms of methamphetamines.

Operation ‘Emissary’ began in early 2023, when investigators tracked an Algerian national who was suspected of being the leader of a criminal network that facilitated the logistics and personnel necessary for the irregular introduction of people across the coasts from the provinces of Alicante, Murcia and Almería .

The now-dismantled criminal organisation sent boats loaded with ecstasy and amphetamines from Spain to Algeria. Once there, they took advantage of the return trip to transport people of Algerian nationality to the Spanish coasts. In this way, the organization generated ” double financing “: drugs and immigration.

These trips were carried out using ” taxi boats “, that is, semi-rigid boats with high-power engines that were used to transport drugs and migrants. Apparently, the criminal network had people dedicated to logistical tasks, while providing fuel and coverage to the boat owners upon their arrival in Spain.

The criminal network in Algeria recruited people that were responsible for collecting the money agreed upon before starting the journey. This money came to the organization through a currency exchange system known as ‘hawala’- used all over the world by criminals to launder money and finance illegal activities.

Seven detainees and five searches

Due to operation Emissary, police arrested six people in Alicante for alleged crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, simulation of a crime, membership in a criminal organization, against public health, against property and reception.

The investigators have carried out five searches, four of them in homes and a fifth in an industrial warehouse, all of them in Alicante. They have seized 20 kilograms of methamphetamine pills, two semi-rigid boats, two vehicles, 8,780 euros in cash, a detonating pistol and several mobile phones.

The agents have arrested a seventh person in the town of Roquetas de Mar (Almería) when the boat that was loaded with drugs towards Algeria broke down in the middle of the sea. On this occasion, 48 kilograms of methamphetamines were seized.

Three million euros

In this operation, the Guardia Civil seized a total of 68 kilograms of methamphetamines with an estimated market value of three million euros. The operation was carried out by the Information Group of the Guardia Civil in Alicante together with the Information Headquarters (UCE 3).

The Reserve and Security Group No. 3, the Citizen Security Unit of Torrevieja, the Cynological Service and the Service Centre of the Alicante Command participated in the arrests and searches.

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