Spain arrests 12 following seizure of 3 tons of cocaine

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Jan. 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM
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MADRID, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Spain's national police force arrested 12 suspected drug smugglers of Spanish, British and Dutch nationalities and seized more than three tons of cocaine in the region of Galicia.

Spain's special operations forces intercepted a van that was transporting more than 1,500 pounds of cocaine from the northern Galicia region toward Málaga in the country's southern Costa Del Sol region. The interception led to a larger seizure of cocaine, weapons and vehicles in a warehouse in the city of Pontevedra.

"National Police agents have broken up a major international drug trafficking organization dedicated to maritime transport of cocaine from South America to Europe," the agency said in a statement, adding that it was the largest drug seizure in Galicia since 1999.

In the overall operation, authorities seized more than €1.2 million ($1.2 million), a 9mm Parabellum pistol, four cars, a van and a motorcycle. Of those arrested, eight are British, two are Dutch and two are Spanish.

The investigation was carried out with the help of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.K.'s National Crime Agency.

Spain's National Police showcased the seizure in a video distributed via Periscope.

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