By Tara Rippin • 03 May 2021 • 11:59
CREDIT: Policia nacional
Spanish police seize 7 tonnes of hashish in ‘biggest drug bust’ this year.
MORE than seven tonnes of hashish seized in a new blow to international drug trafficking in Campo de Gibraltar.
Three people have been arrested in a sea operation that National Police, the Guardia Civil and Spain’s Tax Agency believe is one of the biggest drug busts this year, “reducing the activity of criminal organizations based in the Strait”.
In a joint sting, police intercepted a boat that was being used by a “high-level criminal organisation” to transport large quantities of drugs across the Spanish coasts.
The MAOC (Maritime Analysis and Operations centre), a European body to combat drug trafficking in the maritime field, had been watching the boat and the criminal organisation for more than a year.
It’s believed the organisation, that had set up its logistics point in Huelva, had used the boat to carry drug caches in several countries including the Netherlands and France.
“The vessel named FELSTED was a tug that had been renovated to have a large hold, and thus be able to transport a large quantity of drugs.
“In addition, this type of vessel withstands the worst weather conditions very well, so the organisation takes advantage of the “bad sea” to carry out drug transports,” said the police in a statement.
“Despite the difficult weather conditions, a device was organised in which two Civil Guard vessels participated: the Río Arlanza high-altitude patrol boat and the Río Miño ocean vessel. The operation lasted two days.”
Finally, the tugboat was detected and a “stealthy boarding” was made with two auxiliary boats on the Miño River.
The crew member reportedly had no idea they had been intercepted until officers were already on board the tugboat, which was then escorted to the Port of Algeciras where 200 bales of drugs were unloaded, weighing 7.13 tonnes.
“This is one of the biggest apprehensions of this year, with more than seven tonnes of hashish seized, which manages to reduce the activity of criminal organisations based in the strait and prevent the advance of organised crime in the Campo de Gibraltar,” said the police.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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