Police discovered the frozen sardines in a truck en route from Morocco this week, and found them to have a rather unusual herbal stuffing — around 900 kilos of hashish.
The operation, which was codenamed "Maria," was run by customs officials, who tracked the cargo from Morocco to a dockside warehouse in Cádiz, from where it traveled to a luxury villa in Marbella
Reportedly, police had been monitoring the gang for over a month, since the syndicate leader arrived in Spain from Morocco to plan the shipment. The operation led to the arrest of 14 suspected traffickers, together with the confiscation of cannabis worth more than €3.6 million.
A police spokesman told the media, “Officers found 325 kilos of hashish hidden inside the frozen sardines in the refrigeration truck.” “A further 570 kilos was intercepted in a warehouse of El Puerto de Santa María in Cádiz,” he added.
Another hashish bust just down the coast:
It seems this wasn't the only hashish bust in the past week, as apparently a luxury pleasure craft off Almuñécar’s Velilla beach was seized by the Guardia Civil with 300 kilos of hashish on board.
Two men, aged 36 and 31, both Spaniards and both from Málaga, were arrested in the bust. One of the men has been arrested before for drug running.
That particular action was part of Plan Telos, a police operation started at the beginning of the year to heighten land, sea and air vigilance over the North African drug route.
The proximity of Morocco to the Costa del Sol invites many illegal incursions of this kind and police have to keep up the fight constantly.