Spanish police apprehended the unidentified drug trafficker who is said to have been a former Cali Cartel member
The arrest was a joint operation between Spanish national police and Dutch law enforcement. The two agencies had reportedly tracked the trafficker for more than two years before his eventual arrest in Malaga.
The Spanish police haven’t identified the suspect at the moment but they claim he was part of the renowned Colombian Cali Cartel. The cartel’s founders moved away from Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel to form the empire and had a rivalry with the latter in Colombia.
At its peak between 1993 and 1995, the Cali Cartel was the largest cocaine trafficking empire in the world, controlling more than 80% of the whole cocaine market. The empire is said to have netted $7 billion a year during this period.
Descriptions of the man say he is a Dutch drug trafficker of Colombian origin. The suspect reportedly moved to Europe to continue his operations when the cartel fell after its leaders and key players had been arrested. After settling in Europe, he switched from being an intermediary to being a money launderer. He started a crypto firm as a front business for his laundering operations.
Authorities claim that he helped launder in excess of 6 million euros worth of crypto. The arrest took place over the weekend when police raided his hideout. 85,000 euros in cash, three wristwatches, more than a dozen credit cards, several laptops & mobile devices and three cars were impounded.
A further $170,000 in crypto alongside multiple crypto wallets were seized from his Delft home in Western Netherland. The Cali Cartel is known to have had a complex laundering structure that consisted of over 50 enterprises. Due to the massive revenue the cartel grossed, it heavily invested in legit businesses and other fronts to facilitate its operation.
Looking back, it is a big relief to local and international authorities that privacy coins such as Monero that are difficult to trace had not been created. It would have otherwise been extremely hard to bring the criminals involved in drug trafficking to justice.