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Narco gang planned to smuggle cocaine using hydroplanes 

PAGE 16 Narco gang planned to  smuggle cocaine using hydroplanes two

One of the biggest drug smuggling groups operating in the south of Spain has been smashed by police just as its ringleaders prepared to launch a “narco aeroclub” to start introducing cocaine through hydroplanes.

Fourteen people have been arrested as part of the joint operation by the National Police, Civil Guard and Tax Agency and six boats, two jet skis, a helicopter, plane and ultralight seized.

The criminal organisation was led by an Huelva-born businessman, qualified as a naval mechanic and considered one of the main drug traffickers of the peninsula.

He is now in custody, together with 13 others, following raids on the Spanish mainland and Tenerife in the Canaries.

Police have also found 5,100 kilos of hashish, various firearms with ammunition and telephone, electronic and computer material.

“Those arrested were in the process of acquiring land for the construction of a narco airport that would allow them to start introducing cocaine through hydroplanes,” said a police spokesman.

The investigation began after a tip-off about drug shipments being landed on beaches in Huelva and then transported to a secret warehouse. From here, the hashish was distributed to customers both national and international.

“The organisation had two distinct branches, one dealing with the finanicial side, including whitewashing money, the other with the transport, storage and distribution of the hashish,

Income from the drug sales was laundered hrough different hotel establishments, which allowed the members of the plot to justify the possession of real estate, vehicles and aircraft.