Spanish police seize cocaine mixed into salt for animal feed

AFP - [email protected]
Spanish police seize cocaine mixed into salt for animal feed
Spain and Ecuador have also recently dismantled a drug trafficking and money laundering organization linked to the Albanian mafia.(Photo by Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFP)

Spain has seized 620 kilos of cocaine mixed into mineral salt for animal feed that had been shipped to Barcelona from Colombia, the customs agency said on Thursday.


The drugs were found concealed inside a shipment of coarse salt destined for animal feed that reached Barcelona on January 8 and was later sent to Madrid.

In recent years, customs agents have discovered cocaine smuggled into Spain in a variety of ingenious ways, such as being mixed into fruit pulp, or blended with wood pulp and moulded into wooden pallets.


Investigators arrested seven people, mostly Colombians and Ecuadorians, among them the manager of a business near Barcelona.

A customs spokesman told AFP that the cocaine appeared to have been dyed then coated in a masking agent so it would avoid detection.

"Salt used for animal feed is coarse and has a brownish tone, so we think they had dyed the cocaine to make it look the same colour," he said.

Customs agents had been tipped off about the shipment and located it on arrival, finding 1,000 sacks of salt imported by a company in Sant Cugat del Valles just outside Barcelona.

Lab tests showed 34 of the sacks contained salt that tested positive for cocaine, with investigators seizing 620 kilos of the narcotic.

Agents tracked the shipment to Torrejón de Ardoz outside Madrid, where they arrested six people, all Colombians or Ecuadorians, on January 22.

They also arrested the import firm's manager at his home in Sant Cugat del Valles.

Three suspects were remanded in custody and four others were charged and then released, but had their passports seized.



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