Agents of the National Police have dismantled the first cocaine production laboratory located in Spain with a structure similar to that used in those installed in South America, with the capacity to produce 120 kilos of drugs per week.
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Twelve people have been arrested in this operation, including the leader of the organization and his lieutenant, and ten searches have been carried out in Malaga, Madrid and Cordoba.
Due to the danger of the operation, the entry into the laboratory -which was in a town near Madrid- was carried out by the Special Operations Group (GEO) and inside, there were five "cooks" in the process of drug extraction.
In May of this year, an investigation was launched into a criminal organization that had a great operational capacity to carry out its illicit activity.
The leader and his lieutenant, who lived in the province of Malaga and had a high lifestyle, controlled, through third parties, companies that imported bags of cement in whose shipments they concealed a narcotic substance that fed the clandestine laboratory dismantled in Madrid.
From that moment the "Silcon operation" began to take shape.
The agents managed to identify the leader of the organization, a Spanish citizen, as well as the rest of its members. They also verified that these people were stocking up on a large quantity of chemical products, as well as all the necessary materials to establish the laboratory.
For this purpose, the group had a storage room in Córdoba where it stored solvents so that, after a few months and as a security measure, they were transferred to a maritime container located in a car park on the Costa del Sol.
As the investigation progressed, it was possible to identify another Dominican citizen, a trusted person of the leader, who was directly in charge of supervising the drug manufacturing process in the laboratory and organizing its distribution.
This man personally recruited three Colombian citizens who came to Spain expressly for the extraction of the narcotic substance. These people, known as "cooks", are normally hired for a specific operation and are paid according to the number of kilos extracted, to later return to their country.
The researchers verified that the organization had rented a large villa in the town of Coín (Málaga), which would initially be where the laboratory would be located, although for security reasons, they finally decided to install it in the province of Madrid.
For the transfer of the narcotic substance, the members of the group put it in sacks with cement and took great security measures, such as the use of shuttle vehicles. The destination of the bags was, initially, a car wash managed by members of the organization, and later a large rural farm, both points located in towns near the capital.
From that moment on, on September 6, the development of the operation was carried out in which nine people were arrested. In addition, ten house searches were carried out, managing to fully dismantle the organization, when days later three other members were arrested.
As a novel detail of this operation, which had never been seen by specialists in laboratory dismantling until now in Spain, is the way of recovering the cocaine, since it resembles those installed in the South American jungle.
On the one hand, normally, these laboratories are installed inside houses, warehouses or chalets to avoid being controlled or attract the attention of neighbors and the Security Forces and Bodies.
This laboratory, however, was located outside a large farm and under the undergrowth, only protected by umbrellas and tarpaulins that tried to hide its activity from the action of some aerial medium.
On the other hand, the method used for the extraction of the cocaine base paste reflected the great knowledge of the "cooks" in this matter since, normally, the organizations resort to the use of a large quantity of chemical products, many of them controlled by international conventions; however, the detainees used only gasoline, ammonia and water for this process.
It is also worth noting the strong security measures adopted by those responsible for the laboratory, since they monitored the farm through the use of a drone.
After the police action, the agents intervened in the laboratory 85 kilos of base paste in different conversion processes to cocaine hydrochloride, as well as all the necessary tools for its manipulation and transformation.
In the province of Malaga, the leader of the group and his lieutenant were arrested, thus dismantling the leadership of the organization. In addition, six house searches were carried out in Malaga, three in Madrid and one more in Córdoba and a vehicle was seized in which a pistol with six cartridges ready to use was found, as well as cash and documentation.
A large quantity of chemical products, both liquid and solid, were also seized in a container in a car park, waiting to be used for extraction in future operations carried out by this organization.
In total, 85 kilos of cocaine base paste, 250 kilograms of cocaine-impregnated cement, 950 liters of chemical precursors, 125 kilos of solid precursors, six vehicles and 36,000 euros have been seized. ■