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The Tax Agency seizes more than 2,300 kilos of hashish after boarding a 'drug boat' in the Alboran Sea

Operation against drug trafficking

  • The operation required coordinated and simultaneous operational action by two patrol vessels of the Customs Surveillance Service based in Motril, following an alert from one of the aerial means, which detected three semi-rigid vessels on the high seas in a waiting attitude.
  • The four crew members of the boat carrying the drugs were arrested after an escape attempt was deactivated thanks to the rapid deployment of the boarding device

July 20, 2022.- Customs Surveillance Officials from the Tax Agency have seized 2,384 kilos of hashish in an operation against drug trafficking in the Alboran Sea and the coast of Granada. The action concluded with the seizure of the drugs and the arrest of the four crew members of the 'drug boat' that was carrying the narcotic.

The operation began at dawn on July 7, when one of the Customs Surveillance aerial vehicles, which was on a patrol, control and routine surveillance mission, located three semi-rigid boats stopped and berthed 15 miles southeast of the Alborán Island and confirmed that one of the semi-rigid vessels was loaded with an undetermined number of burlap and raffia bales commonly used for transporting hashish, in a waiting position.

Immediately, a monitoring and control device for suspicious targets was established, in which naval aircraft from the Customs Department of the Tax Agency participated, and which included the Customs Surveillance patrol vessels 'Colimbo II' and 'Fénix III', both based in Motril.

Rapid operational deployment

During the early hours of the morning, the patrol boat 'Fénix III' approached the semi-rigid inflatable boat equipped with three engines that was transporting the bales. At that moment, its crew fled and began to throw part of the cargo they were transporting into the sea, ignoring the acoustic and light signals to stop. After the escape, the patrol boat 'Fénix III' proceeded to board the smuggling vessel.

The four crew members, all of Moroccan nationality, were immediately arrested and the boat and the cargo it was transporting were secured.

At the same time, the patrol boat 'Colimbo II' was in charge of tracking and recovering the bales thrown into the sea.

Immediately afterwards, the drugs, the seized vessel and the detainees were transferred to the premises of the Motril Maritime Customs Surveillance Base, where the corresponding proceedings have been carried out.

The total of the merchandise seized amounts to 68 bales with a total weight of approximately 2,364 kilos of hashish resin, whose market value would exceed 15 million euros.

Both the detainees and the intervened goods have been placed at the disposal of the Motril Court on guard duty, who has ordered the entry into prison of the four detainees.

The operation is part of a special surveillance device carried out by the Customs Department of the Tax Agency on the Andalusian coasts and on vessels potentially susceptible to engaging in illicit activities.

The investigation by Customs Surveillance officials in Motril remains open, so it is not ruled out that new arrests may occur in the coming days.

Customs Supervision: Presentation of charges for smuggling and related offences 

Free telephone 900351378.