76% of the hashish seized in 2022 in Catalonia was intercepted in the Tarragona district, according to data from the Civil Guard.
Since the beginning of the year and until November, the force has dismantled five organizations dedicated to marijuana trafficking. These actions have resulted in 22,000 plants seized, 50 detainees and 35 searches.
The lieutenant colonel of the Tarragona command, Jordi Verger, emphasizes that the leaders of these groups have been beheaded and that the police pressure exerted has caused them to move to other places. He also notes that some of those arrested are victims of human trafficking.
Verger explains that hashish arrives by sea from North Africa to the coasts of Tarragona.
In the province, he says that there are organizations that facilitate the arrival and storage of this drug, as well as its transportation, mainly to Europe.
"Traditionally, we have encountered organizations that are already doing this and that, together with the pressure in the south of Spain, with special operations against this criminal phenomenon, has made these gangs look for the area of Tarragona again," says the person in charge. police.
Therefore, it indicates, 76% of the hashish that was seized last year in Catalonia was intercepted in the Tarragona region. Specifically, 7,852 kilograms of this substance were seized in 2022 and so far this year the figure amounts to 9,965 kilograms.
"With this pressure exerted in Tarragona we have been able to verify that these organizations have moved their unloading actions to other provinces and, therefore, we have evidence of the arrival of hashish both in the province of Barcelona, Girona and also in Castellón; At least we have gotten these bands to consider looking for other alternatives," he adds.
In fact, he believes that the detection of this "large amount" of hashish places them on the "right path" and highlights that it is not just a police problem, but rather a "much more complex" problem.
Verger details that criminal groups dedicated to hashish trafficking together with the cultivation of marijuana do not "predominate." "The organizations that we find come directly from other European countries and settle here, they rent apartments, warehouses, they carry all the infrastructure of the people who set up the electrical system, who know the additives that should be used; we do not have people who They live here and one day they dedicate themselves to setting up plantations", although he admits that there are always exceptions.
At the same time, Verger highlights that there is a "very important" activity in the field of drug trafficking in the regions of Tarragona. So far this year until November, they have carried out five "quite relevant" operations because they have managed to arrest the people involved in the marijuana cultivation from the most basic levels of criminal gangs to their highest leaders. "We find the lowest part of an organization, people who take them directly from a certain country - the group's origin - to take charge of the plantation, they give them four instructions and all they do is be there," says the person in charge. police.
For this reason, it points out that in many cases they are people who, despite being knowledgeable, could be considered victims of these organizations, since many of them are in a situation closer to "trafficking in human beings" that does not happen. that of the perpetrators of these criminal acts. "We value these actions very positively, not because of the number of plants, but rather because of the ability we have had to accuse these people of different crimes, and in fact, in some of these operations, practically everyone has been imprisoned. the detainees," assesses the lieutenant colonel.
The arrests have been made both in the Tarragona region and in the Barcelona area. Overall, in the last ten months, 50 individuals have been arrested and 35 searches have been carried out both in marijuana plantations and in homes or industrial warehouses.
150,000 euros and three firearms have also been seized from these devices. In addition, the police force has seized 22,091 plants this year and about 250 kilograms of buds. "That number of flowering units is very relevant because it means that we have dismantled the plantations at the most appropriate time, since that is when they had the drugs ready to send," he maintains.
Last year, 30,848 marijuana plants were seized. Along the same lines, he highlights that in the last two years they have dismantled a dozen drug gangs.
The lieutenant colonel of the Tarragona command affirms that they are concerned that criminal organizations choose Tarragona or Catalonia as the place to establish their criminal activity. "We would prefer that they did not do it, we are trying to make it very difficult for them to make these plantations and that if they set them up sooner or later we can detect them so that they dedicate themselves to something else or that they do it to another country other than Spain," he asserts. .
Likewise, the person in charge highlights the good collaboration between the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Local Police and the National Police in anti-drug matters. "This collaboration is having a direct effect on everyone's effectiveness," he concludes.