Cannabis resin worth £13m seized at sea
A total of 65 bales of cannabis resin valued at £13m was seized and four individuals were arrested following a high-speed chase at sea on Wednesday morning.
Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police began chasing a suspect Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat that was spotted at Emerson’s Place by land officers in the morning informing officers patrolling the sea.
A chase ensued at sea in waters off the Western side, during which the occupants off the vessel continuously threw bales from the RHIB, joint statement issued by the Government and the RGP said.
It was at this point that Customs vessel, HMC Searcher, took over the pursuit while the suspect vessel continued to jettison cargo into British Gibraltar Territorial Water.
“It then rammed into HMC Searcher, causing it significant damage,” the statement said.
“HM Customs officers boarded the suspect vessel and arrested four occupants.”
“Additionally, the officers seized the vessel which was still loaded with a large number of bales.”
While Customs officers transported the four individuals and the RHIB to Customs Marine Base, RGP and GDP officers initiated a search to recover the bales from the sea.
Some 65 bales amounting to a total of approximately 2.6 tonnes was seized.
The four individuals were then taken to New Mole House for questioning and the investigation continues.
Both Commissioner of Police, Richard Ullger, and Acting Collector of Customs, Christian Borrell, said that the “success of this operation was due to the excellent cooperation between our two law enforcement agencies”.
Meanwhile they also expressed their gratitude to those who were involved in the operation.
Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: "It is ironic that this excellent operation, the fruit of cooperation between the RGP and Customs, should come on the same day we have published our bill to also further clamp down on possession of fuel canisters, a business designed to assist those who are in the drug trade.”
“The magnificent work of the RGP and HM Customs has today dealt a huge blow to the drug traffickers.”
“Gibraltar stands against every aspect of this nefarious trade and our brilliant law enforcement agencies are doing great work in stopping these criminals and demonstrating that the good people of Gibraltar deplore this illicit activity."