Spanish police said on Monday they seized three underwater drones capable of carrying large quantities of drugs from Morocco to Spain and disbanded a gang suspected of manufacturing them.
A police statement said authorities seized three “drone submarines” under construction and arrested eight people in Spain.
“Three of which – two of which were being built and one that was practically completed – were to be delivered to French drug smugglers to transport large quantities of cocaine,” it said.
Police released video of the seized drones on social media and said each could hold up to 200 kilograms (440 lb) of product.
Police said this was the first time they had seized such devices, officially known as Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs).
“These devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large quantities of narcotics across the Strait of Gibraltar,” the statement said.
The gang also produced aerial drones, in which police captured several large UAVs with 12 motors and a range of 30 km, more than enough to cross the 15-kilometre (nine-mile) strait between Spain and Morocco. was.
Officials said the gang also made fake bottles in vehicles to transport drugs.
One of the drug-laden devices “was intercepted when he was on his way to Denmark on a tow truck,” police said.
His clients included criminal gangs from Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, police said.
Spain’s physical proximity to Morocco, a major hash producer, and its close ties with former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a major entry point for drugs bound for Europe.
The 14-month-long operation culminated with the arrest of eight people, police said. Six of the detainees, who are related to drug trafficking and a criminal organisation, have been remanded in custody.