More than seven tons of hashish seized during a new coup against international drug trafficking in Campo de Gibraltar
Three people have been arrested during an operation that has led to one of the biggest apprehensions of this year, reducing the activity of criminal organizations based in the Strait.
The boat was used by a high-level criminal organization that intended to introduce large amounts of drugs across the Spanish coasts.
In a joint operation of the Civil Guard, National Police and Tax Agency, they have seized more than seven tons of hashish and detained three people during an intervention carried out at sea, proceeding to board a boat that was carrying more than a year being investigated and it was the objective of the MAOC (Maritime Analysis and Operations center), a European body to combat drug trafficking in the maritime field and of the Maritime Intelligence Offices of Customs of Galicia and the Canary Islands.
The police efforts on the merchant began in March 2020, when it was already being investigated, in turn, by other nations such as the Netherlands or France. The boat, according to investigators, had been used to carry drug in several countries. It is known that the boat was going to be used by a high-level criminal organization that intended to introduce a large amount of hashish through the Spanish coasts. The organization had set up its logistics point in Huelva, the town where they opened legal proceedings.
The progress of the investigations led to the identification of the crew members, without ceasing control over the merchant ship until, with all the necessary information gathered, the boarding in international waters was agreed with the support of the Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Center and Organized Crime (CITCO).
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 organization takes advantage of the “bad sea” to carry out drug transports.
Despite the difficult weather conditions, a operation was organized in which two Civil Guard vessels participate: the Río Arlanza high-altitude patrol boat and the Río Miño ocean vessel. The operation lasts two days and in addition to the civil guards, two agents from the Tax Agency embark.
Finally, the tugboat is detected and a stealthy boarding is made with two auxiliary boats on the Miño River. The crew members do not detect the police action until the agents are on board the tugboat.
The tugboat is escorted by the Benemérita vessels to the Port of Algeciras where 200 bundles are unloaded, which once weighed reach a weight of 7,130 kilograms.
This is one of the biggest apprehensions this year, with more than seven tons of hashish seized, which manages to reduce the activity of criminal organizations based in the strait and prevent the advance of organized crime in the Campo de Gibraltar.