A fishing boat was intercepted in waters south of the Canary Islands that was transporting more than 1,500 kilos of cocaine

The Spanish Civil Guard, the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency and the National Police, in a joint operation, have intercepted a fishing boat 150 miles from the Canary Islands, named ‘Efesios 5-20’, 25 meters long, and flagged Brazilian, which was transporting in its interior more than 1,500 kilos of cocaine divided into 60 bales, according to the first estimates.

The boarding by the Customs Surveillance patrol boat ‘Cóndor’, in which Civil Guard and National Police officers were present, was carried out in a context of harsh weather conditions. In the course of the operation, the six crew members of the fishing boat have been arrested, five of Brazilian nationality, including its captain, and one of Venezuelan nationality.

The narcotic substance was in a compartment specially built in the engine room of the fishing boat for its concealment, and to make it difficult to find in the course of a possible inspection of the vessel. The choice of the machine room is not accidental on the part of the criminal groups, given the working conditions in it, due to the noise of the machine and the high temperatures.

The operation, the result of international collaboration through the Analysis Center against Maritime Drug Trafficking in the Atlantic (MAOC) and coordinated by the Intelligence Center for Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), has been carried out under very adverse conditions. due to the existence of a force 7 storm and strong winds.

In addition to the weather conditions, there is the difficulty of navigating back to port with a fishing boat in poor condition, with a leak in the engine area, and whose engines stopped in the middle of the night.

The operation culminates today with the arrival of the ‘Cóndor’ and its dam at the port of Las Palmas, for the unloading of the drug and bringing the detainees to justice by the Civil Guard, Customs Surveillance and the National Police.

Atlantic route

This operation is added to those already carried out in the fight against drug trafficking in the so-called ‘Atlantic Route’ of cocaine, known for being used by sailing ships, fishing boats and merchant ships that, coming from South America and the Caribbean, transship narcotic substances in the middle of the Atlantic for its later introduction in the European continent.

On this occasion, the fact that the small fishing vessel was so close to the Spanish coasts has drawn the researchers’ attention, since transhipments normally take place at a greater distance.

The success of this type of action is the result of the excellent collaborative work between various European and national organizations (MAOC, CITCO) and the different police and customs forces, as well as, in this case, the cooperation of the Brazilian authorities.