On Monday, the Spanish police made a significant impact on the Mexican drug cartel known as “Los Zetas.” The National Police, in collaboration with the Colombian National Police and the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), led a successful operation resulting in the capture of a key figure in the organization. The arrest took place in Madrid and involved a 54-year-old Moroccan, who was reportedly acting as the group’s “representative in Europe,” as per a statement issued by the police.
The detained individual was reportedly responsible for distributing to “people he trusted throughout the national territory and in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands,” where the bustling port of Rotterdam is located. Once the world’s busiest port from 1962 to 2004, Rotterdam has been surpassed by the Port of Singapore and then by the Port of Shanghai. Nevertheless, the port continues to serve as a major conduit for drug trafficking into Europe.
Alongside this pivotal figure, the authorities apprehended a total of five individuals during the operation. The seized assets included 400 kilograms of cocaine, 220 thousand euros in cash (equivalent to approximately four million 53 thousand 866.15 Mexican pesos), two vehicles, 10 cell phones, and various pieces of “documentation of interest”.
Among the arrestees is another suspected Colombian drug trafficker known as “El Repetido,” a moniker that reflects his status as a triplet brother of Colombian origin with a notorious reputation in this underworld. However, the Spanish police have yet to release the identities of the individuals apprehended.
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The arrest led to the unearthing of the organization’s structure, the roles of its various members, and the manner in which its leader placed his trusted people across Europe. Notably, the detained Moroccan was one of the individuals entrusted with significant responsibilities in the group’s operations.
“Los Zetas,” whose roots can be traced back to the Gulf Cartel (the oldest in Mexico), consists of military deserters known for their particularly brutal methods. Despite being considered weakened by international media, the group continues to be a significant concern for law enforcement agencies.
This report includes information from AP and the Spanish National Police.