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 11:50 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
updated 7:32 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
updated 2:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 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