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Police use excavator to dig up 612 parcels of cocaine 

Police who arrested three British men as part of Spain’s biggest ever cocaine bust found more than 600 packets buried underground in a garden.

Drug squad officers had to use an excavator to unearth the 612 parcels which contained a total of 678 kilograms of cocaine.

In total, the Spanish police seized 1.2 tonnes of cocaine and say they have totally dismantled an international smuggling ring based in the UK and Spain.

Five people – three of British citizenship and two Spaniards – have been arrested in Granada and Guipúzcoa.

In addition to cocaine trafficking, the arrested were hiding a marijuana plantation in an uninhabited housing in Zarautz, also in Guipúzcoa.

“The network was one of the most active in all of Europe,” said a police spokesman.

The investigation began during the 2016 when officers were tipped off about a network made up of Spanish and British citizens and settled both in the United Kingdom and Spain.

“The modus operandi consisted of introducing and storing large quantities of cocaine in northern Spain and then transporting it to the south of the peninsula, where the arrested had a business infrastructure used as a cover for the transport of drugs,” said the spokesman.

Small doses were sent to the UK and larger amounts distributed to other networks in Spain. The main gang used professional lorry drivers to smuggle the cocaine hidden between legal merchandise.

At one stage, a British carrier was intercepted in Spain on its way to UK through Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia.

Police followed its route and saw how various stops were made to collect new cargo. In San Sebastian, the lorry was joined by a car which acted as a lookout and guided the lorry to a safe house in a remote area in Granada.

However, when they reached their destination, Spanish police swooped and made three arrests. They also seized 483 cocaine packets with 1,100 grams each inside.

The other two suspects were arrested in Zarautz (Guipúzcoa). Police say they were employed to keep watch on the property were an empty house was being used to cultivate marijuana.

It was at this property that the 612 parcels of cocaine were dug up from the garden.

Along with the arrest of the five members of the organisation, the researchers have seized a total of 1.2 tons of cocaine, a trailer type truck, its trailer, two cars, four weighing scales, three precision scales, 2two thermo-sealing machines, 6,000 euros in cash, several telephone terminals, various accounting documentation, 35 22-gauge cartridges and a list of official licences for vehicles from the National Police.