Spanish police announced on Monday that they had dismantled a group believed to be responsible for producing the drugs and seized six underwater drones capable of transferring significant amounts of heroin from Morocco to Spain.
In operations conducted in Barcelona and the southern provinces of Malaga and Cadiz, police said they confiscated six of the alleged “drone submarines” and detained eight individuals.
Unmanned underwater vehicles, as such devices are technically termed, were confiscated for the first time, according to the police (UUVs).
For use by other criminal organisations, they think the gang produced underwater drones “capable of bearing enormous loads.”
The statement added that these gadgets “may enable drug traffickers to remotely transfer substantial amounts of narcotics over the Strait of Gibraltar.”
The drones each have up to 12 motors and a 30-kilometer range (18 miles).
That is simple enough to handle an underwater traverse of the 15-kilometer-long Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Morocco (nine miles).
According to the statement, three of the drones were scheduled to be sold to a French criminal gang to “carry considerable amounts of cocaine.”
The gang reportedly created “unmanned semi-submersible watercraft” that could transport up to 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds) of merchandise, as well as false bottoms for cars that allowed gangs to conceal drugs.
Police claimed that among their clients were criminal gangs from Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain.
Spain is a major entrance point for narcotics headed for Europe because of its close ties to former colonies in Latin America, which is a major region for the production of cocaine, and its physical proximity to Morocco, a major producer of hashish.