HomeGamblingSpanish Police Bust Drug Cartel That Used Illegal Casino as its HQ...

Spanish Police Bust Drug Cartel That Used Illegal Casino as its HQ – Casino.org


Related stories


Posted on: December 19, 2023, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: December 19, 2023, 10:45h.

In an operation conducted on December 12, the Civil Guard uncovered a covert casino in Granada, where the leaders of an armed gang were reportedly closing deals while engaged in high-stakes poker games. Out of nearly 20 individuals apprehended during the operation, seven remain in custody as the investigation unfolds.

Spanish police officers in uniform
Spanish police officers in uniform. Authorities in Granada broke up a gang that trafficked drugs across Europe from an illegal casino. (Image: Policía Nacional)

This revelation follows a series of actions by the Civil Guard a few weeks earlier where they dismantled marijuana production centers in the province of Granada. These centers were found to be associated with a criminal group based in the capital of Granada, also named Granada, sparking the broader investigation that led to the recent casino raid.

The criminal organization primarily comprised a family clan from Granada, according to a statement by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior. Investigators also believe the group has connections with drug traffickers from Romania, Albania, and Italy.

Anti-Terrorist Police Take Charge

The operation involved the Rapid Action Group of the Civil Guard, an elite unit with a history rooted in counter-terrorism efforts against the Spanish separatist group, ETA. The extensive search involved over 250 officers from various law enforcement agencies and covered multiple locations, including Granada and municipalities in the surrounding area.

In the raids, the officers found an arsenal of weapons, including a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, a 9mm pistol, tasers, and more. They also seized luxury cars believed to have been used as a form of currency in narcotics transactions and other vehicles.

Authorities additionally confiscated 12K marijuana plants, €130,000 (US$142,000) in cash, and jewelry valued at €150,000 (US$163,950).

The clan allegedly used their international connections to facilitate illegal drug shipments to those countries and others. The investigation is still in process, according to the authorities, which suggests additional arrests are possible.

The detainees now face a range of charges, including the cultivation, production, and trafficking of drugs, illegal possession of weapons, money laundering, and online banking fraud. The authorities will apparently let the illegal gambling charges slide.

Granada Becomes Criminal Hot Spot

This wasn’t the first time police have busted international organized crime gangs operating in Granada. Previous raids also involved Albanian citizens, although they’re not alone.

Seven years ago, Israel arrested four Spaniards and a Romanian, – all residents of Granada – for drug trafficking. That sparked an investigation in Granada that led to the capture of a known drug dealer, only identified as “Sami.” With the help of his parents, he ran an international drug trafficking network that also had a penchant for the AK-47.

In December of last year, the National Police arrested six individuals – five Kosovar Albanians and a Spaniard – in an operation against an alleged group of drug traffickers in the province. During the raid, the authorities confiscated 160 kilos of marijuana and hashish and €11,000 (US$12,023) in cash. As in the most recent case, they also seized a Russian-made AK-47 and various other weapons.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories