In the wiretaps, one of those investigated maintains that the businessman from Cadiz valued setting up a marijuana plantation: “for that he sets up a farlopa laboratory” The investigated set up web pages for fictitious purchases, which were later transformed into cryptocurrencyA delivery of one million euros controlled from the United States was the trigger for the investigation It was on September 1, 2020 when DEA agents, the United States anti-drug agency, contacted the Civil Guard to sound the alarm. For months, his men had been conducting an investigation into a network of launderers for the drug clans of Latin America. In one of these investigations, the agents of the office in Los Angeles (California) were able to learn that among the “brokers”, among the people who moved money from these groups to launder it, there would be a Spaniard, named Fernando. “As soon as traffickers manage to enter a large shipment of drugs to another country, the same criminal organization seeks a way to repatriate the money from said sale to Colombia or Panama. The brokers specialize in facilitating the laundering of that same money”, explain the DEA agents in their alert, issued from the office that the members of this group have inside the US embassy in Madrid. In this specific case, anti-drug investigators had detected that the Spanish broker allegedly offered “the collection of approximately one million euros in Madrid. In this case, the DEA prefers that the Civil Guard intervene the money: we do not ask that the money be collected and then transferred to a DEA bank account, ”explains the statement issued by the agency and to which NIUS has had access. “This information is highly sensitive,” alerted the agents, who asked the Armed Institute for maximum discretion. So it was. The agents began to work with the control of the Court of Instruction number 3 of Alcalá de Henares, which took charge of the proceedings, and soon identified the first investigated. This Fernando was actually a financier who, according to the agents, ran a cryptocurrency business from Madrid without being registered with the CNMV, arrested in 2006 for an alleged drug trafficking crime. From there, the skein grew to a network dedicated to creating fictitious web pages with payment gateways that sent money to Spain from Latin America in the form of alleged purchases. Everything served to justify the movement of money from the Dominican Republic, Panama or Brazil, as long as it was high-priced: computers, tablets, high-end bicycles or even go-karts. According to the investigators, the people who deposited the money never received those products. In reality, the funds were transformed into cryptocurrencies and later returned to their owners in the form of supposedly legal investments… and in exchange for a commission. A marijuana plantation that never arrived As this newspaper advanced, it was within the framework of these investigations when the agents detected the contacts between two of the main investigated and the Cádiz businessman Manuel García Gallardo, arrested in January of this year and accused of participating in a frustrated pitch with the sale of tests against Covid to the Junta de Andalucía. In one of the wiretaps, the two financiers even maintain that the businessman would have considered setting up a marijuana plantation in one of his industrial buildings. “For that he sets up a farlopa laboratory,” explains one of the investigated to another in the telephone recordings. However, the agents emphasize in their reports that there is no more evidence than those words of the businessman’s possible intentions, since the plantation never materialized nor was any action detected in that regard, and all the conversations that refer to García Gallardo are carried out by third parties. In fact, the agents highlight in their reports that those under investigation planned to defraud the Cadiz businessman by giving him fake money bought in Portugal.