In July 2019 the Guardia Civil initiated ‘Operación Hélice’ during the executive stage of a protracted investigation into shipments of large quantities of cannabis resin by an organised crime group in the area, which resulted in the seizure of approximately 3,500 kilos and the arrest of 29 Spanish nationals in the Campo de Gibraltar and Malaga, Spain.
At that time sixteen search warrants were executed at warehouses, residential premises and locations connected to this operation and numerous assets seized including several launches housed in warehouses linked to the organised crime group as well as other assets. This group was suspected to be led by a Gibraltarian man, with other local persons involved.
As a result of this, and during the investigative stage, there was very close cooperation and exchange of information between law enforcement agencies in both jurisdictions which led to the RGP’s Money Laundering Investigation Unit commencing its own investigation, ‘Operation Halogen’, which was run in parallel to ‘Operación Hélice’.
On October 22nd Operation Halogen reached its executive stage with search warrants executed in nine residences in locations throughout Gibraltar including Varyl Begg Estate, Europa Road, Castle Ramp, Upper Town Catalan Bay and Alameda Estate.
As a result nine British nationals – five men and four women – were subsequently arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
Additionally the RGP have seized nine vehicles, three pleasure boats, three jet skis, an amount of cash as well as other valuables. Also in relation to this operation, the Supreme Court has granted a restraint order issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act on fourteen bank accounts, three Taxi Licences, three commercial properties and three residential properties.
Furthermore over 400 fuel containers of the type usually associated with fast launch refuelling was seized in one of the addresses.
GDP search team advisors and HM Custom specialist dog section officers assisted the RGP which had 70 Police Officers actively involved in yesterday’s successful operation. Four officers from the Guardia Civil were also present during the course of the searches.
All nine persons arrested have been bailed in the sum of £10,000 each to appear at New Mole House in April 2020. The investigation remains open and further actions may follow.