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Spanish woman, 79, arrested for leading drug-trafficking ring

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By Euronews with AFP
This handout image made available on August 2021 by Spanish National Police shows an arrest during an anti-drugs operation in Portugal
This handout image made available on August 2021 by Spanish National Police shows an arrest during an anti-drugs operation in Portugal   -   Copyright  Spanish Civil Guard

A 79-year-old Spanish woman has been arrested in Portugal over suspicions of leading a drug ring, Spanish police said on Tuesday.

According to the Spanish Civil Guard, the woman was heading a group that imported cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Portugal.

She was arrested in Vila Real, in northern Portugal, alongside two other Spaniards, aged 26 and 60, as part of an operation carried out by Spanish and Portuguese police.

"They were introducing cocaine into the (Iberian) peninsula through Portuguese ports using a legal company created to import coral from the Dominican Republic," the Civil Guard said in its statement.

"The 79-year-old woman was the head of the group as well as the manager and owner of the front company," the statement went on.

Investigators arrested the three people after discovering cocaine hidden at the company and at their homes in Portugal.

The group operated as a wholesaler for other traffickers who then sold the cocaine on the black market, particularly in southern Spain.

The Iberian Peninsula is one of the main entry points for cocaine in Europe.

In November last year, a submarine conveying a load of cocaine worth €100 million from Latin America was intercepted in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia near Portugal.