Twenty-two suspects were detained in the arrest, including the two alleged leaders of the drug ring.
The suspected leaders, Ingrid and Maribel Cadena, are the daughters of Martin Fernando Varon, alias “Martin Bala,” a Cali narco-trafficker with ties to the drug war that occurred in Cali from 2002 to 2005.
According to the chief commissioner of Spain’s anti-narcotics police, Ingrid was in charge of the drug sales, while Maribel handled the money.
Most of the other 20 suspects detained in the raid were relatives of the Cadena sisters. The drug ring was reportedly a family-run organization, with a hierarchy dependent on loyalty to the family.
Seven suspects have been charged with drug trafficking, and the rest with money laundering.
Police began the investigation seven months ago, when they received intelligence that two Colombian citizens living in the suburbs of Madrid were planning a large shipment of cocaine from Colombia. It was discovered that the individuals belonged to the Cadena sisters’ family-run drug network.
The cocaine had been transported by boat from Colombia or Panama to northern or central Europe, then driven into Spain. In the past, drugs arrived to Spain by sea, but Spanish ports are no longer considered safe for drug traffickers, the commissioner said.