Spanish police nab drug smugglers who used helicopters

MADRID (AP) — Spanish police said Sunday they dismantled a drug-trafficking ring that allegedly brought hashish and marijuana from Morocco to southern Spain by helicopter and then transported it to France by road.

The Guardia Civil said in a statement it seized 2.4 metric tons (2.65 tons) of hashish and 112 kilograms (247 pounds) of marijuana in the operation, as well as three helicopters, guns and ammunition.

Officers arrested 11 people and a further nine are being sought in France, the statement said.

After being flown by helicopter across the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco to Spain, which are about 15 kilometers (9 miles) apart at the nearest point, the drugs were concealed in trucks and a tour bus with fake number plates for the journey north to France.

Police believe the revenue from the drug sales was laundered through front companies.

French police and the European Union crime agency Europol took part in the operation, the Guardia Civil said.

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