The British Embassy in Madrid has been instrumental in taking down a British drug lord who fled the Costa del Sol to Dubai in a huge operation involving the American DEA, the British NCA and Europol.
A total of 49 people have been arrested in six countries in Operation Faukas, with 30 tonnes (66,000 lbs) of cocaine being seized. The authorities believe that this organisation was in charge of a third of all the cocaine trafficked into Europe.
The bust has been hailed as historic, with supercars, vast amounts of cash and luxury villas all seized.
Among those arrested are the leaders of the organisation, who have been dubbed the “Lords of Drugs”, in Dubai.
They reportedly include an unnamed Briton who escaped from Malaga after being targeted in an attempted kidnapping and a Panamanian was in charge of shipping.
The Briton is said to be the head of the organisation.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Spanish civil guard on Monday, 28th November, saying: “It has been possible to identify the leader of this organisation, a British citizen linked to the Costa del Sol and who had to leave Spain due to an attempted kidnapping against him, moving to Dubai, a place from where he continued directing and coordinating the criminal activities of the organisation while maintaining contacts and drug trafficking businesses with the rest of the ‘Lords of Drugs’ based in this city-emirate.”
Footage from the Spanish side of the bust shows villas being raided, huge wads of cash totalling EUR 500,000 being seized and luxury vehicles being impounded.
In the images, the Spanish police can be seen bashing in doors and storming villas, arresting a number of suspects.
A second British man, also unnamed, was reportedly seized during the Costa del Sol raids.
Other arrests also took place in Dubai, France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, between 8th and 19th November, according to the Spanish police.
The investigation reportedly began after 700 kilogrammes (1,543 lbs) of cocaine was seized in the port of Valencia in 2020.
Operation Faukas was coordinated as part of an international operation called Desert Light that included the British National Crime Agency (NCA) and the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The Spanish Civil Guard explained how they believe the operation worked, saying that the Panamanian “is allegedly responsible for the introduction of the drugs in the Port of Manzanillo in Panama who also had links with the rest of the drug barons in Dubai.”
The Spanish authorities added: “The criminal organisation based in Spain had two different structures, the part tasked with extracting the drugs in maritime ports and the other, which was responsible for laundering money through property firms.
“The first part was located between the provinces of Barcelona and Malaga and had a direct influence on Barcelona Port.
“It was made up of two Bulgarians, one of whom was a high-value target for Europol, and three people of Spanish origin including a Barcelona port worker who was responsible for the entry and exit of vehicles.
“The other part of the organisation was composed of people who were trusted by the main leader.”
The Spanish authorities said that part of the organisation was “based on the Costa del Sol, the centre for its financial activities where they had bought property valued at more than EUR 24 million and laundered their drug money.”