Three Argentine civilians have been arrested at El Prat airport in Barcelona under charges of cocaine trafficking. The detainees are Gustavo Adolfo and Eduardo Antonio Juliá, two sons of the former head of the Air Force, Brigadier José Juliá, during Carlos Menem’s presidency. Also detained is Gaston Miret, son of Brigadier José Miret, former Secretary of Planning during the previous dictatorship.
On the 1st January, the Juliá brothers and Miret are thought to have taken off from the international Ezeiza airport of Buenos Aires in a private and irregular flight to Cape Verde.
On route from Cape Verde on Sunday 2nd January, the flight landed at El Prat International airport, Barcelona, at three in the afternoon. Employing the use of sniffer dogs the airport’s drug squad detected 900 kilos of cocaine on board the military aircraft. The total worth of the drugs is between 40 to 45 million Euros, at 5,000 Euros per kilogram in the European market.
Carrying nearly a ton of cocaine with a purity of 90 percent, the Challenger 604 Jet belongs to Jet Medical Company (MJ), an air transportation company that transports passengers primarily for medical treatment or emergencies. The company began operations in 1993 with the help of Brigadier Juliá following his retirement, later becoming president of the company.
Following their arrest in Barcelona, Gustavo and Eduardo Juliá were contacted by the Argentine Consulate in the city offering legal aid to the detainees. This legal help was rejected.
The Challenger 604 arrived from the island of Sal, Cape Verde, off the coast of Senegal. The island is seen as one of the favorite stops of drug dealers that handle large shipments of drugs destined for Europe.