Moroccan police on Wednesday announced the arrests of several Spanish nationals, all of Moroccan origin, as part of an operation to dismantle a network of drug traffickers in possession of about 2.5 tons of cocaine _ the largest stash ever found in the North African country's history.

Head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations Abdelhak Khiam told a news conference that the operation was launched on Tuesday in the north and west of the country and that thirteen people were arrested, among them Spanish and Dutch nationals of Moroccan origin.

He said that two tons and 388 kilograms of pure cocaine were confiscated, the largest in the country's history, along with 105 kilograms of hashish, 394,520 euro ($463,572) and 172,000 dirhams ($18,215) in cash, eight vehicles three with Spanish registration two hunting rifles and a satellite phone.

The Moroccan official explained that the network was directed from prison by two bosses who had been detained in Morocco since 2014 for cocaine trafficking.

Khiam added that police investigations into the network, which exports to countries such as Spain, Holland and Germany, began that year.

He said that in the face of a United States crackdown on trafficking routes, drug cartels in South America were trying to get their illegal products to the European market via sub-Saharan countries.