Criminals who move drugs from manufacturer to retailer use undercover cars and try to drive “perfectly” to avoid attracting attention.
The name of the beacons comes from the ‘points’ or profit margin they earn with each trade.
The director of the Intelligence Center for Terrorism and Organized Crime warns that Spain is Europe’s largest producer of marijuana: it has increased the number of plantations tenfold in recent years
The co-pilot warns the driver when entering the entrance to the San Roque (Badalona) neighborhood. Citroen C4 Picasso: “Don’t go in here, sometimes the police will check traffic. Turn around and enter from behind, it’s safer.” The driver obeys the account that brought him. You should stay away from agents. In the trunk of his vehicle, he carries a white bag containing 4.5kg of marijuana, peeled, cut and ready for sale.
One of the most unknown (but no less relevant) links in the business of drug traffickers to marijuana is the day of pointers. A kind of cannabis riders To the drug dealer who ensures that the drug reaches its final destination from the manufacturer or will distribute it via retail. A real nightmare for the security forces due to the crazy and undetected activities.
The pointer is the transmission belt of the cannabis circuit. It does not manufacture or sell the drug to the consumer. It is only the intermediary connecting these two points. The increase in cannabis consumption in Europe has made our country the continent’s largest producer. That’s what the data says: Spain has the most cannabis resin seizures in the world, with more than 350 tonnes of cannabis, according to the latest World Drug Report. has so far surpassed Morocco, the world’s hegemonic leader.
According to Manuel Navarrete, director of the Intelligence Center for Combating Terrorism and Organized Crime, Spain has increased the number of plantations tenfold in recent years and doubled the production of the historically leading country, the Netherlands.
In 2020, 1,700,462 cannabis plants were seized in Spain, an increase of 10.5% compared to 2019 and 350% compared to 2015. 70,073 kilograms of cannabis were seized, an increase of 76% compared to 2019. 473,925 kilograms of cannabis was seized, an increase of 36% compared to the previous year.
Annual Drug Statistics prepared by the Ministry of Interior shows that 70.9% (17.960) of 25,333 drug-related arrests in our country in 2020 are related to cannabis. However, this product will only come out with the intervention of these intermediaries. According to police sources consulted by this paper, “a figure that has been increasing rapidly recently, as dynamics of high unemployment and low wages are accompanied by a rise in the popularity of marijuana and illegal easy money activity.”
“I find out who is planting marijuana and who is buying it. We can say that I have an agenda with these people and that they are the ones who contact me in case of buying and selling.” The fictitious name of one of these ‘cannabis riders’ attending EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA in Barcelona, one of Europe’s top cannabis producing states along with Granada, says Marcos.
“The needles are named after the points we have earned. For example: I will visit a grower who wants to release 3 kilos of grass. It depends on the variety, material quality, appearance, smell and a lot of other factors. the goods are sold for more or more expensive or cheaper. I’m giving you a price based on what you have. For example, two euros per gram. In this particular case, if we close the deal, we will have to pay him 6,000 euros in cash,” he begins.
“When I buy this quantity, I almost always already know who will buy it from me and where I can place it. For example, to a ‘dealer’ selling direct to the seller. consumer or a sought-after cannabis club… Imagine I placed it in euros. I subtracted 1,500 euros on that particular ‘trip’ because I left the cargo for 7,500 euros. But in reality the 5 points I earned, which is the difference between the 2 euros I paid per gram and the 2.5 euros I sold.”
This lucrative business, how could it be otherwise, is illegal. Spanish law not only penalizes drug trafficking, but also penalizes such drug possession, which occurs in these cases. And despite the fact that in our country there is no such concept of hackneyed “own consumption”, the amount of drugs carried by the beacons is significant when it comes to being charged with one or another crime if they are caught by the police.
Prison or not?
Spoke to EL PERIODICO DE ESPAÑA Javier Arias, Century Lawyers; A law firm specializing in drug trafficking and drug possession in Madrid. He confirmed that “these types of cases are common profiles for us, we found many people arrested for possession of marijuana.”
And it explains what the intervals are that make the crime more or less serious. “Anything less than a kilo is covered by an administrative fault, which is often an economic sanction.” Although the law mentions less than 100 grams, for practical purposes it usually has the same consideration if they carry 999. Although, it also depends on the judge who takes the case.
The amount seized from the needle changes when it exceeds one kilo: “If they are caught between one and ten kilos, they are punished with imprisonment from one to three years and a fine equal to the approximate value of the goods.” What happens is that when the criminal is first arrested, At the trial, a settlement is reached, which usually results in less than two years in prison. So if you don’t have a criminal record, you won’t go to jail.” These figures are given because marijuana is considered a drug that does not cause serious harm to health. If the amount was cocaine or opium, the sentence would be larger.
Another issue is that the prisoner carrying marijuana has a criminal record. In this case, convictions are added. If the total prison sentence is more than two years, the pointer contains all the numbers that will result in jail time. “Normally, these are cases heard within 6 months of the crime,” they say from this firm. If the seizure exceeds 10 kgSince he can already be accused of being a member of a criminal organization, the detainee’s exposure to crime can range from 3 to 6 years.
Police sources explain to EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA: “As a general rule, these intermediaries know this type of information and try to carry amounts less than they can legally handle, accusing them of being drug dealers.
“It is forbidden to give notes”
That’s how the pointer lives, always on the edge of the razor. They don’t usually carry large ammo, but they walk around with drugs on them almost every day. This prompts them to take a series of measures to avoid being caught, or to take a series of measures to prevent the crime from going to jail if they are caught. “The first thing is to always try to go unnoticed”, says Nando, another pointer from Madrid who has been carrying drugs for nearly two years. “I started at almost the same time as the pandemic. I won’t tell you what, I had to close my legal business and I started carrying weed.”
Nando usually drives the white van he uses for work. “It’s important not to drive a brown car. It’s not recommended to start showing off in a very expensive BMW or a high-end Mercedes,” he said, “and other extremes should be avoided. Do not drive too dusty, because they may stop you for a headlight or ask you if your ITV is up to date. If the police stop you, you have a problem because it’s not the 7.5 grams of cocaine you can carry without counting drug trafficking. It would be much easier to hide it. But if you carry 4 or 5 kilos of grass, it takes up a lot of space and above all, it smells. It smells awful.”
In addition to choosing the right mode of transport (Barcelona leader Marcos says he owns the Citroen C4 Picasso because “it’s pass for a family car and there’s even a ‘Baby on board’ sticker. ‘Having kids'”, the pointer goes to go as unnoticed as possible. works. “See the amber traffic light? You stop. Is someone going to cross a place where there is no pedestrian crossing? You give way to them. You obey the signs and speed limits because there are radars patrolling. A few kilometers ahead waiting for you. The drive must be flawless”, sums up Nando.
When the destination is reached (that is, where the final receiver is waiting), the beacon comes with a backpack as hidden as possible. “I usually carry everything in the same bag. Because if they catch it in one sack like you’ve already scattered it all in small bags, it won’t be the same, it will be much easier for them to think you’re using drugs. human trafficking crime”; Mark is finishing. The pointer releases the merchandise there, collects his money in cash, and goes about his routine, putting the producers in touch with the buyers and moving the merchandise from one place to another.
as in the bag
The prices paid also vary by variety, for example: “There was a time when the most produced was the variety called Critical Mass. Because it blooms faster than the others and therefore the producer gets more crops. A year later, another variety called Amnesia came into fashion, the flower as fast as it opens, but the taste and smell were much more fruity and pleasant. “They even gave me 3 euros per gram for amnesia,” he said. Marcos illustrates the market in Catalonia a bit.
“But it’s a place where prices go up and down, like the stock market. Now the market is saturated with Amnesia. I even recently bought it at 1.5 euros per gram because clubs don’t want to pay. More than 2.3 The California variety is what clubs pay the most. . One is Gelato, the other is Zkittlez, the other is Wedding Cake… They are varieties with a much more fruity flavor and aroma than those we produce in Europe. They are more attractive to the final buyer and therefore they are paid more. Now the market is split between Californians, Amnesia and ‘commercial’ which is the category that encompasses all other varieties as is the market now.”
What happens is that the cannabis world also has nooks and crannies where an expert is required to identify the variety being purchased, as it is illegal:No invoices or purchase receipts here. Sometimes they say it’s a California variety, but in reality this is a local variety”. To avoid this, the pointer usually takes an expert: “I don’t smoke and I don’t know them well, but I have a friend who can tell you if they have one. the other is from the smell. Usually he comes with me, identifies the weed we bought, and then I pay him or pay him directly in kind, giving him the agreed-upon portion of the item.”
These intermediaries became a nightmare for the Spanish authorities. Because it’s not easy to find someone laden with drugs in the crowd of cars, especially when they take certain precautions. Police sources consulted by EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, “traffickers are always ahead of the police, and this is an example. It is getting harder and harder to identify who is carrying drugs, because they are decentralized systems that operate autonomously”.
point it out”A different problem from cannabis smuggling in the Bosphorus or to large shipments that usually leave Spain to cross Europe. This type of inland transport is much more undetectable and requires full attention, as it is one of those responsible for the rapidly increasing production and smuggling of cannabis in Spain and the increasing increase each year.”