Spain has seized three “drone submarines” capable of transporting large quantities of drugs from Morocco to Spain.
Spanish police said on Monday they had confiscated the underwater drones and broken up a gang that is believed to have manufactured them.
Eight people were arrested in Spain, police said.
“The three [drones], two of which were being built and one which was practically completed, were to be delivered to French drug traffickers for transporting large quantities of cocaine,” said police.
Each drone is capable of carrying 200 kilograms of product. Police said it was the first time they had seized such devices, which are officially known as unmanned underwater vehicles.
“These devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large quantities of narcotics remotely across the Strait of Gibraltar,” the force said.
The gang also manufactured aerial drones, with police seizing several large unmanned aerial vehicles with 12 motors each and a range of 30 kilometres, more than enough to cross the 15km strait between Spain and Morocco.
The gang also built false bottoms into vehicles to transport drugs. Their customers included criminal gangs in Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, police said.
Spain's physical proximity to Morocco, a major hashish producer, and its close ties with former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a key entry point for drugs bound for Europe.