Spanish authorities announced Monday that they had confiscated three underwater drones capable of transferring huge amounts of drugs from Morocco to Spain and had disbanded a gang suspected of manufacturing them.
Officers seized three “drone submarines” under development and arrested eight individuals in Spain, according to a police statement.
“The three — two of which were being built and one which was practically completed — were to be delivered to French drug traffickers for transporting large quantities of cocaine,” it said.
Police posted a video of the seized drones on social media, claiming that each could transport up to 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds) of material. It was the first time police had seized such devices, known as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
“These devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large quantities of narcotics remotely across the Strait of Gibraltar,” the statement said.
Police also seized four huge UAVs with 12 engines apiece with a range of 30 kilometres, more than enough to cross the 15-kilometre (nine-mile) strait between Spain and Morocco.
According to authorities, the gang allegedly installed false bottoms into vehicles to transport drugs.
According to police, one of the drug-laden devices was “intercepted when it was on its way to Denmark aboard a tow truck with the intent of avoiding any police checks.”
According to investigators, their customers included criminal gangs from Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain.
Spain’s proximity to Morocco, a leading supplier of hashish, and its close relations with former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a vital entry point for drugs destined for Europe.
According to police, the 14-month investigation resulted in the arrest of eight people. Six prisoners have been remanded in custody, suspected of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal gang.