According to reports, 49 people have been arrested in a six-country bust of a cocaine super cartel with over 30 tons of cocaine seized by law enforcement.
According to Vlad;
Authorities say the operation managed one-third of cocaine distribution across Europe.
Europol said 49 suspects have been arrested during the investigation and at least 30 tons of cocaine has been seized since the investigation has been underway. “The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects’ control and command was massive,” Europol said.
The investigation was also aided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and officials inside Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UAE.
What is a drug cartel?
A drug cartel is any criminal organization with the intention of supplying drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking organizations reached an agreement to coordinate the production and distribution. The term is used to refer to any criminal narcotics related organization.
The basic structure of a drug cartel is as follows:
Falcons (Spanish: Halcones): Considered as the “eyes and ears” of the streets, the “falcons” are the lowest rank in any drug cartel. They are responsible for supervising and reporting the activities of the police, the military, and rival groups.
Hitmen (Spanish: Sicarios): The armed group within the drug cartel, responsible for carrying out assassinations, kidnappings, thefts, and extortions, operating protection rackets, and defending their plaza (turf) from rival groups and the military.
Lieutenants (Spanish: Tenientes): The second highest position in the drug cartel organization, responsible for supervising the hitmen and falcons within their own territory. They are allowed to carry out low-profile murders without permission from their bosses.
Drug lords (Spanish: Capos): The highest position in any drug cartel, responsible for supervising the entire drug industry, appointing territorial leaders, making alliances, and planning high-profile murders.
There are other operating groups within the drug cartels. For example, the drug producers and suppliers,[ although not considered in the basic structure, are critical operators of any drug cartel, along with the financiers, smugglers, distributors, and money launderers. In addition, the arms suppliers operate in a completely different circle, and are technically not considered part of the cartel’s logistics.
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