Dismantling the EU drug ‘super cartel’ — RT World News

Organized crime syndicate controlled about a third of cocaine trafficking in bloc countries, according to Europol

A sprawling cocaine ‘super cartel’ has been busted across the EU in a series of coordinated law enforcement raids, Europol said on Monday. The raids, dubbed “Operation Desert Light”, were carried out in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between November 8 and 19.

The operation, which involved law enforcement agencies from the respective nations, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Europol itself, was the culmination of multiple parallel investigations, the international agency noted. .

“A total of 49 suspects have been arrested during this investigation. Drugstores considered high-value targets by Europol had banded together to form what was called a “super cartel”,” says the agency.

Europol released a short video of the operation, with stills taken during the raids. Footage shows luxury vehicles, large sums of cash, drugs, weapons and other evidence seized by law enforcement.

The “super cartel” controlled about a third of the cocaine trade in the EU and was involved in massive money laundering schemes, according to the agency. The Netherlands and Spain accounted for the majority of arrests, while at least six “targets with high added value” were arrested in Dubai.

“The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the control and command of the suspects was massive and over 30 tonnes of drugs were seized by law enforcement during investigations,” he said. added. Europol said.

In September, Europol and Spanish police arrested “one of the largest money launderers in Europe”, who was apparently working for an international drug cartel, in a joint operation. An AFP source said it was John Francis Morrissey, 62, an associate of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group. According to US authorities, this Dubai-based criminal clan is known for smuggling “deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and poses a threat to the entire licit economy due to its role in international money laundering.”

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