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Three men charged after high-speed chase at sea

Three suspected smugglers who were arrested at sea following a high-speed chase with police appeared before the Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon.
The three Spanish nationals – Juan Manuel Cartenas Pastor, 48 and from La Linea, Pancracio Jesus Carvajal Llano, 25 and a resident of Sevilla, and Jose Maria Olmedo Rodriguez, a 37-year old Algeciras resident, were jointly charged with importing a prohibited import, namely a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, into Gibraltar.
The case was adjourned without pleas pending further investigations and collection of relevant data, including confirmation of the exact location of the arrest.
The RGP deployed at around 11pm on Sunday night after receiving an alert from the Guardia Civil, which had tracked a suspicious rigid-hulled inflatable boat as it raced south from the Málaga region toward British Gibraltar territorial waters.
The RGP patrol boat conducted an extensive search of the area and located the vessel on radar as it navigated without lights around 2.8 nautical miles off Europa Point.
Officers pursued the suspicious vessel and finally succeeded in stopping the seven-metre RHIB with assistance from the Gibraltar Defence Police.
The three men were arrested and conveyed to New Mole House, where they were charged.
Yesterday in court they were granted bail in the sum of £5,000 on their own recognizance and they will appear again on February 19.
Patrick Canessa appeared for the Crown.
The defendants were represented by Jeevan Daswani.