Newsbriefing – Week of 2 March


Three laboratories that produced large quantities of yaba pills (metamphetamines), heroin and Ice were dismantled by the army of Myanmar. The laboratories were located in the heart of the Southeast Asian Golden Triangle.

Several European countries, together with EUROPOL, participated in an operation led by France and Finland against criminal groups trafficking online and offline in misused and counterfeit medicines. 12 organised crime groups were dismantled and 165 suspects were arrested in various locations across Europe.

Portuguese authorities seized more than 500kg of cocaine during operation Alçapao. The first cocaine seizure of 170kgs occurred as a result of searching a container in Porto which enabled authorities to pursue lines of enquiries that led to a second cocaine seizure of 400kgs from another container. The investigation has resulted in the arrest of 6 suspects.

Spanish authorities have seized 752kgs of methamphetamine that was hidden in cavities drilled into blocks of marble. The investigation started in August 2019 after suspicion was raised concerning a shipment of 25 tonnes of marble blocks imported from a from Mexico to the port of Valencia. A joint operation between Spanish customs, the national police and Guardia civil led to the discovery of 352kgs of metamphetamine and the arrest of 5 suspects. In October 2019, a similar shipment, that was following the same routing from Mexico to Valencia, was targeted and authorities identified a further 400kgs of methamphetamine.

The Spanish Guardia Civil has reported the arrest of 89 people on the Costa del Sol for alleged drug trafficking crimes and the transportation of illegal immigrants.