Uruguayan police, in collaboration with counter-narcotics units from Spain, Portugal, and Italy, have successfully dismantled an international drug ring involved in smuggling cocaine from South America to Europe. The operation revealed a sophisticated method of concealment, with the illicit substance hidden inside surfboards.

Sniffer Dogs Lead to Discovery of Cocaine-Filled Surfboards

Acting on information from trained sniffer dogs, Uruguayan officers intercepted six surfboards that aroused suspicion. Upon inspection, they discovered a total of 50kg (110lb) of cocaine secreted within the boards. Recognizing the opportunity to track down the recipients, authorities allowed one surfboard to continue its journey.

Arrests Made in Italy and Portugal, Key Players Apprehended

Working swiftly and in close coordination, police in Italy and Portugal apprehended three Italian citizens involved in the drug trafficking network. The individuals arrested in Portugal were intercepted as they attempted to collect the surfboard filled with cocaine, while the Italian national responsible for dispatching the drugs from Uruguay to Europe was detained in Italy.

International Cooperation Shines in Transatlantic Operation

The successful transatlantic operation, characterized by seamless collaboration between law enforcement agencies across Uruguay, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, has been hailed as a model of international cooperation. The Uruguayan prosecutor’s office expressed satisfaction with the joint efforts that led to dismantling this sophisticated drug ring.

 Uruguay’s Commitment to Fighting Drug Trafficking

Uruguay, bordering Brazil and Argentina, has become an increasingly favored transit country for drug traffickers transporting illicit substances from drug-producing regions of South America to Europe. In response, Uruguay’s interior minister emphasized the country’s unwavering dedication to combating drug trafficking. Strengthened controls at ports and border crossings play a crucial role in disrupting drug shipments.

 Smugglers’ Path Unveiled: Land Border Entry and Transit Route

Police investigations indicate that the Italian smugglers entered Uruguay through the land border with Brazil. After posting the cocaine-filled surfboards, they continued their journey through Argentina. The unraveling of their smuggling route sheds light on the modus operandi employed by the organized drug syndicate.