Morocco participated in a major international operation against drug trafficking, carried out simultaneously in Brazil and in three European countries.
According to Brazilian media, this operation, supported by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Europol, was carried out in the execution of 19 arrest warrants issued by two courts in Rio de Janeiro. . It aimed to dismantle a drug trafficking group that operated in Central America, Brazil and Europe.
The traffickers fragmented the drugs to transport them in cars or trucks to Brazilian ports before transporting them to Europe, authorities said, noting that investigations revealed that over the past 15 months, drug traffickers transferred some 250 million reais ($48 million) proceeds from this drug trafficking.
The international drug smuggling gang was allied with two Brazilian criminal factions. According to the Brazilian Federal Police, traffickers were sending cocaine from Peru and Bolivia to European countries. The group had an active branch in Central America.
On the same day, the authorities also carried out Operation “Turfe”, deployed in Brazil, Spain, Paraguay and the United Arab Emirates, which aimed to execute 20 arrest warrants and 30 searches against an organization that procured cocaine in producing countries, such as Bolivia and Colombia, before transporting it to Europe.
According to the authorities, the drugs were transported to Europe by sea, concealed in containers, in particular to the ports of Barcelona and Valencia, from where they were then transported to other countries of the Old Continent.
The drugs were sent to Rio de Janeiro, where the main criminal group in the region handled their shipment to Europe.
In total, authorities took 18 months to identify the gang members, who used complex logistics to smuggle the drugs in from other countries and launder the money.
Investigations also revealed that the organization was laundering drug money through the acquisition of racehorses.
For these operations, 200 agents of the Brazilian federal police were mobilized, allowing the arrest of at least 25 people. Among the detainees are four Spaniards arrested in the Iberian country, where 400 kilos of cocaine were also seized.
In addition, luxury vehicles and cash were seized and bank accounts were blocked during the operation.
The two operations, carried out on the same day for logistical reasons, aimed to dismantle drug trafficking organizations that shipped cocaine to several European countries and had been under investigation for nearly two years.