June 17, 2020 / 5:46 PM / 20 days ago

Cocaine hotline: police bust elaborate Madrid drug ring

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have dismantled an elaborate cocaine distribution ring in Madrid which had more than 2,000 customers, delivery time guarantees and a loyalty reward system, and adapted tactics to keep running during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The operation had an “extensive logistical infrastructure”, complete with a call centre, police said on Wednesday.

When Spain’s coronavirus lockdown made the usual motorbike drop-offs in pre-established locations impossible, the organisation switched methods, police added, instead conducting deliveries in supermarkets close to customers’ homes.

The police sting, involving 250 officers spread across 21 locations, arrested 28 people and seized close to 4 kg (8.82 lb) of cocaine, as well as 85,000 euros ($95,421).

($1 = 0.8908 euros)

Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and Pravin Char

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