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Suspected smugglers pelt police with glass bottles

Police officers patrolling the eastern end of the frontier fence were pelted with glass bottles last night, one of several incidents during anti-smuggling operations on land and at sea.

The officers were targeted by a group of individuals on the Spanish side, who threw stones and bottles that shattered on impact. No one was hurt.

The group was suspected of involvement in tobacco smuggling and the Royal Gibraltar Police deployed vessels to support its officers on land.

Several small rigid-hulled inflatable boats were chased from the area.

At around 4am on Wednesday morning, two RHIBs were detected making their way to Eastern beach and an RGP vessel gave chase, intercepting one of the smuggler boats.

During the chase in heavy swell, the smuggler’s engine stalled and the boat was swamped.

“Whilst the RGP crew tried to approach the swamped RHIB in the strong swell it drifted into the shallows, where it was approached by the second RHIB which recovered both crew members and managed to make good their escape into Spanish waters,” the RGP said in a statement.

Police on shore, assisted by HM Customs officers, were able to recover six cases of American Legend cigarettes and the 4.6m RHIB, which was towed back to the RGP’s marine base.

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