A yacht loaded with more than 4,300 kilos of hashish heading for Europe intercepted in waters near the Calpe marina

Six people arrested thanks to the coordination of the air and ground resources deployed by the three institutions
The traffickers were caught in the middle of the night by the patrolman ‘Arao’ when they were trying to lighten up in the port on the Alicante coast

Spanish National Police Agents, Civil Guard and Customs Surveillance Officials of the Tax Agency, within the framework of the joint operation ‘Sooty’, have avoided the introduction into national territory of a cache of 4,380 kilos of hashish . The cargo was traveling on a Spanish flag yacht that was intercepted by the Tax Agency patrolman ‘Arao’ just as the traffickers were already preparing to store the drugs in the Calpe (Alicante) marina.

As a result of the coordination of the air and ground media arranged by the three bodies, the apprehension of the drug has been accompanied by the arrest of six members of the organization, including the two crew members of the boat and four other people who were waiting on the ground to the download.

The operation begins last March, after preliminary investigations by the Alicante Customs Surveillance Operative Unit in the vicinity of the province’s nautical facilities, where investigators detected the presence of a Spanish-flagged yacht-type vessel, whose crew raised their suspicions of investigators.

Focused the investigation and turned the vessel and crew into the target, the coordination of the information through CITCO, the Center for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organized Crime, allowed to pool the data obtained up to then, with those who owned the units of Civil Guard and National Police, who in turn were also analyzing these people.

From this moment, the control and surveillance of the objectives is permanent in the different ports that the crew frequented with their pleasure yacht.

Boarding and arrests

The events were precipitating last week at one of the port exits, given that the behavior of the crew pointed to the fact that they were ready to collect the cargo in the open sea. The operation is then activated, with a wide deployment of aircraft and ground resources so as not to lose detail of the movements and contacts of the yacht.

Given the poor state of the sea, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday it is chosen to keep on the lookout, and in constant monitoring of the objective, the means provided by the Tax Agency, the patrol boat ‘Arao’, the Argos II helicopter, based in Almería, and the Customs Surveillance plane based in San Javier (Murcia).

Finally, the Árao ‘surprises the crew of the yacht around four in the morning on Wednesday, when they were already heading to the Puerto Blanco marina, Calpe, carrying out their approach to prevent the delivery of the drug to the rest of the organization , who was waiting on the ground with a large van.

The yacht tried to get away from the patrol boat, but their efforts were in vain, they were quickly neutralized by the crew of the Árao ‘dam, who in the same assault already encountered the huge number of burlap bales traveling on board the boat smuggler.

While Customs Surveillance officials detained the two crew of the yacht, the four members of the criminal organization who were waiting with the van, fled, quickly aborted with their arrest thanks to the police deployment on the ground ordered by the Civil Guard, National Police and Customs Surveillance.

With the objectives neutralized and the cargo secured, the ‘Arao’ began to return to its base in Alicante with the boat apprehended and its two crew members detained, while the remaining four remained in custody of the police units that operated on land.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, a commission from the Investigating Court of Alicante on duty made an appearance on board the intervened yacht, with the presence of its employer, one of the detainees, to carry out the search, accounting 134 bales of hashish weighing 4,380 kilos. Simultaneously, the search of a house related to one of the detainees in the van was carried out in Calpe. The detainees and the procedures carried out will be at the disposal of the Investigating Court number 2 of Denia, on duty.

The Combined Customs Surveillance Unit of the Tax Agency in Alicante, the EDOA Civil Guard team of the Alicante Command, the UDYCO group of the National Police also from Alicante, and the Group of Narcotic Drugs of the National Police in Elche.