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Customs in two tobacco operations

HM Customs seized 1100 cartons of cigarettes in two incidents on Sunday night, including one involving a high-speed boat chase through the harbour.

The first incident involved the Customs boat patrol boat HMC Seeker, which gave chase to a small rigid-hulled inflatable boat near the Gibraltar coastline.

Upon approaching the small vessel, the HMC Seeker noticed it was loaded with “boxes wrapped in plastic bags” which began to be jettisoned as the small vessel attempted to make an escape.

Speeding through the harbour, the small boat navigated under and out through the other side of the extension jetty thus successfully avoiding arrest, with the HM Custom’s crew retrieving 700 cartons of cigarettes from the water.

The second incident, which saw the seizure of an additional 400 cartons of cigarettes, took place on the same night, this time involving the Enforcement Unit patrol crew who were dispatched to the Halifax Road Area.

Upon arrival at the scene, the officers discovered an unlocked Spanish registered vehicle abandoned at the roundabout with the keys still in the ignition.

A subsequent search followed, with the unit locating the second batch of cartons of cigarettes at the scene.

Investigations into both incidents are ongoing.

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