Highly trained drone pilots helped a drug trafficking ring smuggle more than six tonnes of hashish into southern Spain, police have revealed.
Two of the 12-strong gang were experts in the use of state-of-the-art drones and had been using the unmanned aircraft to check if the coasts were clear from police.
The gang, made up of Spaniards (two women and 10 men), would then unloaded hashish from so-called RHIB boats to the shores of Almeria, the Costa del Sol and Cadiz.
Between November and December last year, the group, based out of the Campo de Gibraltar, brought more than six tonnes of the green drug from Morocco to southern Spain.
They were rumbled by the UDYCO drug unit this month after being under investigation since last April.
Police intercepted a 600kg drop off the coast of Almeria before raiding four of the gang member’s homes in La Linea.
Eight high-end vehicles, two large boats and a large amount of cash were seized in the raids.
Police also found the latest generation of drones which had been used to carry out patrols along Spain’s southern coastline.
The drones were used to ensure a ‘safe radius’ both along the shores and on the roads behind them.
The traffickers were able to monitor police presence before and during the transportation of the drugs from the boats to the beach and the vehicles waiting for them.
A radar, frequency inhibitor, numerous high-tech communication devices and several state-of-the-art mobile phones were also seized.
The gang was working with several key players in the Campo de Gibraltar’s drug world.