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Functional operational radar and thermal camera used to monitor law enforcement vessels and aircraft dismantled

Combined operation of the Tax Agency and the National Police

  • During the operation, carried out in the province of Cádiz, a second radar set to be installed in the near future has been dismantled.
  • A total of ten people have been arrested during the final exploitation of the investigation for crimes against public health and membership of a criminal organisation.

January 18, 2023.- Customs Surveillance officers from the Tax Agency, in a joint operation with agents from the National Police, have dismantled an operational and functional radar and a thermal camera used for the control of ships and aircraft of the police services in the town of Chipiona, Cádiz.In addition, another complete radar, which was to be installed soon, has been intervened.Three searches were carried out in the towns of Chipiona, El Puerto de Santa María and Jerez de la Frontera, and ten people were arrested on suspicion of crimes against public health and membership of a criminal organisation.These interventions followed on from two operations carried out on 8 August and 1 November, when a total of 104 bales of hashish were seized, with a gross weight of 3,120 kilos.

The criminal group was involved in smuggling large quantities of hashish along the coast of Cadiz and in supporting other organisations by monitoring vessels and aircraft using the dismantled military radar and thermal camera.

Preliminary stages

The first phase of this operation began in April 2022, when investigators discovered a series of recreational boats moored in the Guadalete river as it passes through El Puerto de Santa María and others hidden in industrial warehouses in the same town, all of them with clear indications of being used for trafficking narcotic substances.Police investigations revealed that an organisation was trying to introduce a boat loaded with hashish at an unknown point on the river.This vessel was found semi-sunken off the coast of Cádiz loaded with 29 bales of hessian containing hashish.

In a second phase of the operation, the agents intercepted 75 burlap bales containing narcotic substances inside a van.The driver was arrested.The two inflatable boats used to transport the drugs were found, one of which was seized, while the other could not be recovered as it was found sunk after being damaged, although the engine was recovered.

A radar installed in an attic

As a final exploitation of the operation, three searches were carried out in the towns of El Puerto de Santa María, Jerez de la Frontera and Chipiona, initially arresting a total of seven people involved in the events.

As a result of the entries and searches, it was possible to dismantle a complete, operational and functional radar installed in an attic in the town of Chipiona, used for the control of ships and aircraft of the anti-drug trafficking services, as well as a thermal camera of military origin, robotised and also operational and functional, used for the surveillance of the performance of police patrol boats.Another operational radar was also intercepted, ready to be installed in a new location in the near future.A shotgun with 30 cartridges was also seized.

Subsequently, three other people were arrested in Jerez de la Frontera for their alleged involvement as members of the criminal organisation.

Film of the operation (go to the following website to download the video):