By George Dagless •
Published: 12 Oct 2023 • 11:55
Credit: HM Customs Gibraltar
OVER half a tonne of cocaine has been seized from two vessels passing through Gibraltar, with a street value of £30m, as per a report from Gibraltar Chronicle.
HM Customs officers seized north of 500kg of cocaine recently, in a bust that was described as a “landmark achievement in the ongoing fight against international drug trafficking.”
The seizures actually took place a handful of weeks ago, but the news has been kept quiet until now because of security reasons.
The first of the seizures happened on September 23, as HM Customs in Gibraltar and a local diving company recovered eleven packages of the drug from a sea chest on the bulk carrier called Unity N.
Then, a couple of days later, officers, following a tip-off, deployed a marine drone to inspect the carrier Alice Oldendroff and further blocks of cocaine were recovered.
In both cases, the crew on the two boats were interviewed but, in both cases, it was deemed that none of them were involved in the transportation of the drugs, and were none the wiser about the extra cargo they were carrying.
“HM Customs expresses its gratitude to the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) and the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) for their invaluable assistance during this operation,” Customs said in a statement.
“In total, 508 kilograms of cocaine was seized during these two operations, with an estimated street value of £30 million.
“The value of the seized drugs is staggering, underscoring the significant impact these highly effective operations will have on the organised criminal groups that are behind these hauls, depriving them of the proceeds, disrupting the supply chain and safeguarding the International communities.”
Meanwhile, the caretaker Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: “I would like to thank all the officers involved in these two operations for their efforts in ensuring Gibraltar continues to clamp down and tackle any sort of illicit activity that may occur across the Strait.”
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