Thursday, September 29

The judge prosecutes the largest drug cartel in the Spanish Levante




The cars that Juan Andrés C. sold at his high-end dealership in Alicante were beautiful. Also the packages of cocaine, which bore stamps from luxury brands, such as Gucci or Louis Vuitton, and crossed or intended to cross Spain from side to side. The same qualifier is predicable of the metalwork of the mechanic of the plot, capable of finding in the guts of an 80,000-euro car the hole to hide a stash and also put a remote control on it. But in the Udyco of the National Police that one was baptized as the Operation Beautiful for “how beautiful” the investigation was being, which ended up putting a whole criminal pyramid within the reach of the Central Court 4 of the National High Court.

Its owner, José Luis Calama, has now written the end of the instruction in a car that leaves record numbers: 79 processed, six fugitives, about 3,800 kilos of cocaine seized and a bond that exceeds 1,400 million euros. Crime, extremely serious drug trafficking and criminal organization.

The piramid

The resolution, to which ABC had access, describes a pyramid-shaped mechanism. Above, in the center of the photo, is Juan Andrés C. Without appearing anywhere, he had the aforementioned luxury car dealer, which would have served both to transport cocaine and to launder profits. When the police entered his house, they found a million euros in cash and the same in watches inside a panic room. He would be, according to the judge, the maximum responsible and head of the plot in the Levante area.

At his side, Sergio F., el Rubio, head of the Valencia branch and “authentic leader of the organization in terms of drug trafficking operations”, as he is charged with providing “the necessary infrastructure to import cocaine through the port of Valencia” . The plot, the car says, had trusted people among the containers.

The third at the top, Jonas S., was in charge of Barcelona and the rest of Europe, especially Romania. He used Juan Andrés’ cars when he met the rest in the lobby of a five-star hotel in Madrid. By last, an acquaintance of Justice since the time of Sito Miñanco, the elusive José C., alias Costiña. At the head of the Galicia area, he is credited with doing the same thing as the Galician drug traffickers: organizing cocaine imports from South America with discharges on the high seas from a nurse to a fishing boat.

Together, the four “hold the leadership of the entire criminal network.” «On the one hand, they carry out the negotiation, organization, planning and financing of the items of large-scale cocaine from South America for introduction into Spanish and European territory, and later distribution through an intermediate branch. On the other hand, they are in charge of directing the main money laundering operations of the organization through business networks created for this purpose “, says the order that these days Judge Calama notifies one by one to those processed in the National Court. Now, they are only charged with drug trafficking. Bleaching is still being investigated in a separate piece due to its great complexity.

Under them, the so-called “intermediate level”, where responsibilities are distributed among four other individuals who “in turn lead their respective criminal groups made up of their trusted subordinates.” There is, in addition, a “level of liaison” with another handful of names whose mission is “to serve as a link, communication and mediation in the negotiation between the criminal organization investigated (receiving the merchandise) and the cartel” in South America in exchange. of a pinch. Of course, they have their own lieutenants, the “base level” of the organization, who distributed drugs on a “smaller scale.” There are 18 people who, according to the judge, are in charge of another as many: from the ‘camels’ who sell retail to the ‘soldiers’ who are in charge of ‘violent activities’. The car talks about “Account settlements, debt collections, kidnappings, murders …”.

The hits

The operation, once considered a high priority by Europol and the biggest hit to the narco in Levante, collaborated with six countries. In the end, the indictment reflects the great blows that the Police were giving throughout 2018 and 2019 while they were investigating. First, 20 kilos of cocaine seized in Orihuela. Later, 1,759 packages in a boat in Boiro, in Galicia. Then 210 kilos would come among fruits in the port of Valencia. The final one was the interception of 1,644 kilos in Romania, plus the 20 that the network tried to move in an Audi RS3 after that frustrated maneuver. The car had a cove as it was opened with a remote control, hidden, in turn, under the ashtray. It even had a panic button to quickly drop the stash if there were “mishaps” in the transport. One of the works, presumes the judge, of the trusted mechanic of the luxury car dealership that covered everything. He too has been prosecuted.

Two more kilos would fall shortly after in Torrevieja and finally the organization’s laboratory was dismantled, hidden in a garage in Oliva (Valencia), with more merchandise. Throughout the investigation, the experts have estimated the price of all this drug sold wholesale at 268,445,318 euros, which is a low estimate because, in reality, the pyramid had its own retail system. It is estimated at 268 million euros. Hence the record bail imposed by judge Calama: just over 1,431 million to be consigned in anticipation of the sentence.

The wiretaps reveal how before and after each coup members of the organization met and talked to each other, sometimes with encrypted phones. There comes a time when they mention 20 million euros of debt with the Galician branch. There, by the way, another well-known name of Justice appears, but not because of his adventures, but because of his father’s. Is he first-born son of Pablo Vioque, the first great national drug lawyer, famous among other things for boasting of having ordered the assassination –without success– of the prosecutor who investigated him in Operation Nécora, Javier Zaragoza. His son was, according to the judge, “fundamental”: he acted as a “conducting link” between the Galician and Levantine branches in the Boiro operation.

The police officers

But this is not a plot only of drug traffickers, with or without antecedents. «The criminal organization through different of its components maintains relationship with police officers, taking advantage of this aspect to gather information and coverage, carrying out their criminal activities with impunity “, says the order. The judge has prosecuted Francisco Javier M., who for years was responsible for the Udyco in Alicante, for his “connection with prominent members of the criminal organization under investigation,” including the alleged leader. Luis Ángel C., another policeman who “collaborates – says the car – with the criminal organization by providing relevant information on operations against drug trafficking,” including this one, is also on trial.

There is still an appeal against the car and the process will be long. Afterwards, the Criminal Chamber will have to decide whether to close the investigation and seat the ‘beautiful’ drug traffickers on the bench.

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