The criminals brought the drug from the Dominican Republic to Spain with the coral ships.
Spanish police have arrested a 79-year-old woman from northeastern Spain on suspicion of planning and organizing cocaine smuggling. At the same time, two other members of the group were arrested, according to the news agency Reuters.
According to Spanish police, the copla imported cocaine in ships transporting coral from the Dominican Republic to Portugal, from where it was further transported to Spain. The choice of the cover industry is surprising, as the trade in coral is regulated not only by the international Cites agreement but also by numerous national and EU-level regulations.
Coral is used in aquariums, jewelery and ornaments, as well as in the pharmaceutical industry, among others. Three suspects have focused specifically on the coral business.
The police according to, corpses had been built in coral containers for drug batches. The Spanish National Guard, who is in charge of border guards, said he found 15 kilograms of cocaine in one cache.
“The criminal group has had a clear hierarchical structure in which a 79-year-old woman served as the leader of the group,” the guard said in a statement.
In addition to the woman suspected of being the leader, police arrested two northern Spanish men. The operation was carried out in cooperation between the Spanish and Portuguese authorities. Police tracked the goblet as it tried to extort money from rival criminal groups.
The United States according to the authorities, the Dominican Republic has become an important milestone in South American cocaine exports due to good ship and air connections – albeit the latter suffering from a coronavirus pandemic.
The Venezuelan route, previously favored by criminals, lost its significance even earlier as shipping and air traffic stalled due to Venezuela’s turmoil and collapsed economy.