Stupid Cupid – Civil Guard Seize Drugs Concealed As Valentine´s Day Gifts
Authorities in Madrid have dismantled a criminal organisation that trafficked ecstasy and pink cocaine concealed in 3D-printed Valentine’s Day gifts.
The Civil Guard arrested nine suspects as part of an aptly named operation dubbed “Cupido.”
The group’s crimes first came to light after officials found ecstasy and pink cocaine hidden in romantic-themed gifts shipped to Colombia and Australia.
The subsequent probe led investigators to an office building in Madrid, where they found a 3D printing laboratory.
The arrested suspects are four men and five women, all from Colombia. One – a 47-year-old – reportedly has priors for driving under the influence of alcohol.
During Operation Cupid, officers seized 4,300 grammes (9 lb 8 oz) of MDMA and 400 grammes (14 oz) of other drugs, such as pink cocaine.
Pink cocaine is a mixture of ketamine and ecstasy, to which pink dye is added.
Officers are still investigating how the suspects were paid.
The suspects are charged with drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organisation.
Seven others are under investigation over their alleged links to the group.
The Civil Guard said in a statement obtained by the Madrid Metropolitan: “The Civil Guard, as part of Operation ‘Cupido’, has dismantled a criminal organisation involved in trafficking pink cocaine hidden in 3D prints.
“The operation began last February when Civil Guard agents detected package shipments from Madrid to Colombia and Australia, declared as gifts.
“These shipments were concealed in hidden compartments, where they hid drugs such as MDMA and TUSI, a narcotic substance known as ‘pink cocaine’.
“The agents have managed to seize 4,300 grammes of MDMA, as well as over 400 grammes of various narcotics, including cocaine, TUSI, and ecstasy.
“In the operation, nine individuals have been arrested, including ‘El Mago’, the person responsible for synthesising the narcotic substances, and those in charge of crafting ornamental figures to conceal the drugs.
“After a thorough study of all existing shipments, the agents managed to intercept five shipments during the month of February that carried gift items related to Valentine’s Day, within which ecstasy and cocaine were found.
“Each shipment carried approximately 800 grammes of the mentioned substances.
“These findings led the agents to focus all their efforts on identifying the senders, which involved meticulous work using documents stolen from unrelated individuals not connected to the criminal organisation.
“Finally, the agents identified several young Colombian women who were responsible for sending the packages, all of whom used public transportation to move around.
“Subsequently, after analysing all the movements of these women and their surroundings, a common link was determined among all of them, specifically offices located in the centre of Madrid, where 3D gift figures were manufactured.
“The TUSI was produced there by mixing ketamine and MDMA with pink dye.
“The ringleaders of the group, who controlled the rest of the individuals involved, operated from this location.
“After identifying the members of the network, nine individuals were arrested, five women and four men, including the leaders of the organisation.
“Additionally, seven people are under investigation for their connection to the network, as they have been linked to the drug laboratory through their rental and receipt of payments.
“The detainees are being charged with offences against public health (drug trafficking) and membership in a criminal organisation.
“Two searches have been conducted, one in the office located in Madrid where they operated, and one in a storage unit in the municipality of Torrejon de Ardoz.
“The police operation was carried out by agents from the Fiscal and Border Unit of Madrid and overseen by the Instruction Court No. 28 of Plaza Castilla.”