Skip to main content

Spain nets a ton of cocaine in floating backpacks

By Elwyn Lopez and Matt Smith, CNN
updated 8:27 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
Spanish authorities netted nearly a ton of cocaine, slightly heavier than another large bust in September 2013 (pictured above).
Spanish authorities netted nearly a ton of cocaine, slightly heavier than another large bust in September 2013 (pictured above).
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spain seizes dozens of submersible backpacks full of cocaine
  • They had been used to smuggle drugs along the Mediterranean coast
  • Five people were arrested in two cities as part of the probe

(CNN) -- Spanish authorities went fishing for backpacks full of cocaine and netted nearly a ton of the drug after uncovering what they say was a sophisticated undersea smuggling operation.

The ring used packs equipped with a flotation system designed to keep them below the surface without sinking. Spain's Civil Guard said Monday it has seized 37 of the packs, which were tagged with satellite tracking devices, with nearly 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of cocaine inside.

Smugglers had been using the submersible packs to smuggle the drugs between Malaga and Valencia, along the country's Mediterranean coast, according to the Civil Guard, Spain's national police force. Investigators had been tracking the suspects since May and made five arrests in those cities, it said.

Authorities seized 72,000 euros ($97,000), three vehicles and an unspecified vessel in the raids. They also impounded jewelry and luxury watches, computer equipment and phones, the Civil Guard said.

Police: High-end drug and prostitution ring busted on Super Bowl week

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 6:36 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:03 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT