Two separate maritime interventions results in several bales of hashish, potentially up to 10 tonnes, being seized and taken to Gran Canaria
Customs and Guardia Civil over this last week have intercepted up to ten tons of hashish on in two separate operations to inspect and seize a ship that was sailing more than one hundred nautical miles south of Gran Canaria and an inflatable zodiac that was preparing to deliver a cargo of the drug to the islands.
The first intervention occurred last Thursday morning when an aircraft tracking the coast, in search of a suspected migrant boat, located another vessel. Two people were travelling in the inflatable and carrying dozens of bundles that agents suspected to contain drugs. The boat was sighted about 35 nautical miles south of the island of Gran Canaria and, after being intercepted, its two crew members were arrested.
The action took place during a search for migrant vessels which was underway due to the upturn in arrivals to the Islands over the last few days.
Simultaneously, the Guardia Civil’s System for Integrated External Surveillance (Sistema Integrado de Vigilancia Exterior or SIVE) had reported a suspicious echo just east of Gran Canaria. The Río Tambre, Guardia Civil Maritime Service patrol boat, travelled to intercept the suspected vessel, whose agents boarded the zodiac and moving it to the Arguineguín dock.
The large bales were unloaded at the port, in the municipality of Mogán, yielding a total weight of approximately 1,050 kilos. The two occupants were arrested as suspected perpetrators of a crime against public health, for drug trafficking, according to sources close to the investigation.
A zodiac carrying more than a 1000kg of hashish was intercepted and brought to the port of Arguineguin on the south of Gran Canaria.
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Posted by The Canary News on Monday, March 29, 2021
A second operation was carried out by Customs Surveillance over the weekend discovering a “supply type” ship , which was sailing near the Archipelago heading south. Investigators were aware that the vessel could be transporting drugs towards the south of the African continent, suspected to be hashish. And so the patrol boat, Sacre, set course to meet the Albatros, a 27-metre vessel sailing under the Panamanian flag.
The Customs Surveillance Service intercepted the fishing vessel with a cache of hashish that could exceed 18 tons, according to the Tax Agencia, in an operation that had the support of French authorities according to Spain’s State Tax Administration Agency.
Months of monitoring that began in early December 2020 led to the capture of the drug aboard the Panamanian-flagged ship “Albatros Guard” and the arrest of its crew, three men of Ukrainian nationality.
Customs Surveillance agents boarded the vessel located more than 100 miles south of the Islands. The ship was carrying dozens of bundles of hashish between compartments, and so the three crew members were taken into custody. They set course for the port of La Luz, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where they arrived at around 19:30 yesterday with a “large quantity” of drugs, according to a statement yesterday.
The authorities along with a delegation from the courts plan to go to the Naval Base at the Arsenal of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this Monday morning to supervise the unloading of the substance and weighing of the haul. A first estimate indicates that the Albatros would be able to transport more than eight tons of hashish, according to sources consulted by Spanish language daily, La Provincia.
This particular vessel had been moored in the main port of the Gran Canaria capital last January, before heading to Nouadhibou, the northernmost coastal city in Mauritania. On Tuesday of last week the Albatros headed north, where it is suspected they loaded the drugs before later changing course to head south, at which point they were intercepted by the Sacre, according to several sources monitoring maritime movements. The Albatros was supposed to be headed for Richard Bay, in South Africa.