Galician mafia

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Galician mafia
Founding location Spain
Territory Spain, Portugal, France, United Kingdom
Ethnicity Galician
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, Cigarette smuggling, Assassination, Bank fraud, Bankruptcy, Blackmailing, Bribery, Contract killing, Infiltration of Politics, Money laundering, Murder, Police corruption, Political corruption, Witness intimidation, Witness tampering.
Allies Colombian cartels, British crime firms, French Milieu, Martinez Familia Sangero

Galician mafia is a general term for the clan-based smuggling groups in the Spanish region of Galicia. Due to the activities of the organized criminal clans, Galicia is often cited as being the main European entry point for Colombian cocaine.[1]


Galicia is one of Spain's more impoverished regions. Traditionally the region made its money from the fishing industry, to which the coastal geography of the region lent itself. Following the crippling of the fishing industry, local fishermen began smuggling tobacco to keep their business alive. The successfulness of these tobacco smuggling activities led to the creation of clan-based groups who made their entire living off smuggling.[2]

Galician smuggling networks nowadays not solely concentrate on tobacco. It was when local criminal clans began making contacts in Colombia and Morocco that the illegal smuggling business began to thrive. Using their Colombian and Moroccan contacts, Galician organized crime groups traffic cocaine and hashish, aside from illegal tobacco, into the Spanish mainland. From Galicia it is distributed to major cities in Spain via other Galician contacts or via criminal groups consisting of Colombian expatriates.[3] Drugs are frequently trafficked to the neighbouring regions of Portugal as well. Aside from Portugal, British organized crime groups have set up contacts in Galicia, often working together with Galician criminal clans to bring in narcotics which the British gangs in turn smuggle into and distribute in the United Kingdom.[4]

Criminal clans in the region have frequently been hostile to each other in recent years. While the Galician smuggling business in the beginning was very local, the internationalising of the organized criminal activities have led to crime-related clan feuds where murder, kidnapping and torture is occasionally committed by criminal Galician clan-members or Colombian contacts and contract killers.[5]

Allegations of political corruption[edit]

Allegations of political corruption arose when pictures were found of Galician premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo vacationing with convicted smuggler Marcial Dorado.[6] This had led to local believe that certain Galician crime clans have infiltrated local politics.

Known Galician crime families[edit]

Charlin clan[edit]

Led by Manuel Charlin Gama they are probably the most notable organized crime clan operating in the region. Their main areas of income are drug trafficking and cigarette smuggling. They've also been involved in murder and witness intimidation. Their main areas of activity are Spain and Portugal.[7]

Os Caneos[edit]

Active in the same branche as the Charlin clan, the clan founded by Manuel Baulo are said to have the best contacts with British crime groups. They are involved in a feud with the Charlin clan.[8]

Castiñeira clan[edit]

Owners of several brothels, between Ferrol and Lugo, the Castiñeira clan has been managing a multimillionaire empire of fine prostitutes. The group founder, Ishmail Castiñeira, has evaded the Spanish justice. He currently lives in an non-disclosed town in Scandinavia.


  1. ^ "Cocaine fleets bring wealth and death to the end of the earth". The Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Galicia drug runners test Spain". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cocaine fleets bring wealth and death to the end of the earth". The Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Cocaine fleets bring wealth and death to the end of the earth". The Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Giles Tremlett. "Ruthless heirs of cocaine trade tighten their grip on a smugglers' paradise". the Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Ediciones El País. "Galicia chief vacationed in Cascais and Ibiza with drug lord". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Unidad Editorial Internet (10 July 2010). "Charlines, un clan camalenico - Galicia -". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "El PP gallego montó un acto con Rajoy en el barco de una familia de narcos". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

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