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Friday, April 14, 2023

Police Dismantle Cocaine ‘Mega Lab’ in Spain Sith 200kg Daily Capacity

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Colombian and Mexican specialists among 18 arrested in operation against ‘sophisticated’ enterprise.

Some of the material seized by Spanish and Portuguese police during an operation against one of the largest cocaine laboratories in Europe.

Police dismantle cocaine ‘mega lab’ in Spain with 200kg daily capacity
Colombian and Mexican specialists among 18 arrested in operation against ‘sophisticated’ enterprise

Spanish police have arrested 18 people after dismantling the largest cocaine lab in Europe, a highly sophisticated, multinational facility where teams of Colombian and Mexican experts worked around the clock to produce up to 200kg (440lbs) of the drug a day.

Officers from Spain’s Policía Nacional force, working with counterparts from Portugal and Colombia, also seized 1,300kg of cocaine base paste and 151kg of processed cocaine after discovering the “mega-lab” in the north-west region of Galicia and making a series of arrests across the mainland and on the island of Gran Canaria.

“The mega-laboratory, located in Pontevedra province, never paused its activities, with its ‘cooks’ working in shifts 24 hours a day to transform the base paste into cocaine hydrochloride ready for consumption,” the Policía Nacional said on Friday.

“The now-dismantled criminal organisation was highly sophisticated and its members – whose different duties were well organised – employed strong security measures, such as using aliases, decoy vehicles, disguising themselves as truckers, and using a strict communications protocol.”

The investigation began last October, when officers came across a criminal gang, based in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, some of whose members had already been investigated over their links to Colombian drug suppliers. The police’s inquiries then led them to a house near Madrid the gang used as a depot for a large quantity of chemical products, and to an industrial estate in Pontevedra where supplies for the cocaine lab were also kept

Some of the material seized during an operation.

Before long, the officers had discovered a multinational criminal enterprise involving Colombian “cooks” and two Mexicans – known as “the engineer” and “the notary” – who specialised in extracting the cocaine base paste, which was hidden inside the metal cylinders of heavy stone-breaking machinery.

“The biggest players were the Spaniards, who were responsible for transporting the drugs from Colombia – its country of origin – to Pontevedra, where it was processed in a laboratory that the Spaniards had built,” police said. The Spanish members of the gang were also the ones who distributed the processed cocaine across the country.

Finally, police found the lab itself – the largest discovered in Europe so far: “It was a large house in Pontevedra province, set apart from other properties and built on a large piece of land. Furthermore, a few weeks later, officers detected the presence of three South American men who had been taken there, under strict security.”

Realising that the drugs were coming in on the stone-breaking machinery, which was shipped from Colombia to a port near Porto in Portugal, the Spanish investigators contacted their counterparts in both countries.

“Subsequent investigations revealed that the Spanish citizens involved were working with two powerful criminal organisations – one Colombian and one Mexican – that had come together to finance a laboratory capable of producing 6,000kg of cocaine in different phases,” said police. “They also uncovered plans to bring in three more stone-breaking machines.”

According to the police, the lab was “on a scale never before seen in Europe” and was equipped with sophisticated refrigeration, heating and air extraction systems. All in all, “its various zones were perfectly arranged for the processing, separation, drying and packaging of cocaine”.

After coordinating units in Gran Canaria, Pontevedra, Madrid and Bilbao, the police arrested 18 people, carried out 14 searches and intercepted a van carrying 100kg of cocaine as the vehicle entered the Madrid region.

News of the mega-lab came seven months after the Policía Nacional announced the discovery of the first cocaine lab found on Spanish territory, a facility on the outskirts of Madrid that was capable of producing 120kg of the drug a week.

While drug gangs have long exploited the coves and inlets of Galicia’s rugged coastline – a “narco-sub” carrying 3,000kg of cocaine ran aground off Pontevedra in 2019 – the latest intelligence suggests a new tack is being taken and that the kind of labs once seen in South American jungles are now being built in Europe.

“The [latest] operation has revealed the existence of a new trend in cocaine trafficking, in which the unprocessed drug is exported to be chemically processed in clandestine laboratories in its destination countries,” police said.

“This allows the criminal organisations to reduce their losses in the event of possible police seizures.”

The Policía Nacional said the discovery and closure of the lab had not only stopped a huge quantity of cocaine coming on to the market, but had also prevented “devastating environmental consequences” as more than 27 tonnes of solid and liquid chemical products would have been tipped into nearby rivers once they had served their extraction and processing purposes.


  1. Me cago en la ostia. Que groserías fatal.

  2. Mexican specialists opening and sustaining POISON markets across international borders,and they cry about bogus U.S blame

    1. How is it bogus it's not just america that wants drugs it's everybody

  3. Galicia coastline is known for Hash smuggling no surprise the Spainish running this operation

  4. “sophisticated” more like a bunch of strung out addicts barefoot

  5. Nice it's fishscale


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