Photo: Cocaine Bricks
Spanish police arrested seven people who were trying to smuggle 93 kilograms of cocaine into the country hidden in blocks of stone, which had been seized by Chilean customs authorities before they could be shipped to Spain.
According to police, the maritime route planned by the would-be smugglers for shipping the drug was via Bolivia, Chile and the southern Spanish port of Algeciras, from where it was to be transported by land to Almeria, also in southern Spain.
The arrests were the result of an investigation begun in September 2011 when authorities learned of the existence of a drug trafficking organization in Spain comprised mainly of Colombian and Spanish citizens.
Once the members of the organization had been identified, Spanish police learned of the plan to ship the cocaine from Bolivia to the Iberian nation hidden inside blocks of marble and other types of stone.
Police said that two of the group of arrested people had traveled to the town of Macael in southern Spain, which has many firms devoted to working with marble and granite, and rented a boat to transport the stone there, after which they were intending to remove the drug.
With the information obtained thanks to the cooperation of international police, Bolivian law enforcement asked Chilean customs authorities to inspect a container shipment of stone and in examining the stone blocks they found a compartment within which the 93 kilos of coke were found.
Once the name of the company importing the stone was determined, security forces were able to put all the pieces together and make the arrests.