Turkish and Spanish drug traffickers worked together to establish the first heroin laboratory in Spain, officials said Tuesday.
The lab, which was located in the central Spanish town of Fuensaldaña, was dismantled by police before a single gram of the drug hit the streets, National Police chief Ignacio Cosido said.
The operation was one of the most important launched against drug traffickers because of both the quantity of narcotics seized and the fact that no drugs made it into the hands of users, Cosido said.
Officers seized 20 kilos of heroin, 20 kilos of morphine and 75 kilos of drug precursors at the lab, the police chief said.
The operation also broke the links between Turkish drug traffickers and a Spanish criminal organization, Cosido told reporters.
Nine people, including two Turks and a Paraguayan, were arrested as a result of the six-month investigation that led to the drug bust.
The traffickers obtained opium from Afghanistan that had been processed into morphine in that country or by intermediaries.
The lab was in Fuensaldaña, a town of 1,400 located about six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the city of Valladolid. EFE