Campo holds minute’s silence after Spanish Customs officer dies in drugs chase
Representatives from across the Campo de Gibraltar held a minute’s silence in Algeciras on Monday to honour a Spanish Customs officer who died at the weekend during a high-speed drugs chase at sea.
Jose Luis Dominguez Iborra, an observer on a helicopter operated by the Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera, died on Sunday after the aircraft crashed into the sea for reasons that are still under investigation.
At the time, the helicopter was supporting an SVA patrol vessel engaged in a chase of a suspect vessel some 30 miles east of Sotogrande.
The helicopter’s two pilots managed to escape the aircraft and help their colleague, who suffered respiratory failure on arriving at the shore and died despite efforts to save him.
Among those who gathered outside the city hall in Algeciras yesterday to pay their respects alongside relatives and friends of the deceased officer were Juanma Moreno, the president of the Junta de Andalucia; the mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce; and Juan Lozano, the president of the Mancomunidad de Municipios in the Campo.
There were senior officials from the Spanish Tax Agency and the SVA present too, alongside representatives from civil society groups that have long campaigned against the illicit drug trade in the Campo.
On Sunday, after news of the crash, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo expressed condolences on behalf of the People of Gibraltar to the Spanish Minister of the Interior and the Treasury Minister.
“The fight against the evil of drug trafficking involves us all,” Mr Picardo said.
“All relevant jurisdictions are partners in this fight.”
“The Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs play a vital role in this fight also and will continue to work closely with their partner agencies in Spain and around the world against this global scourge.”