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Arrests made easier for Spanish police who watch suspected drug smugglers dump illicit cargo into the sea

Dec 7, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Police ultimately manage to intercept 2.5 tons of hashish.

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A high-speed chase on the high seas ended when Spanish police caught up with the suspected drug smugglers they had been pursuing, all the while watching as the accused dumped illegal hashish into the water.

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The smugglers were in plain view of members of Spain’s Civil Guard during the pursuit, which was caught on a police video.

Calling the pursuit a long chase, the agents with the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard managed to intercept the boat off Spain’s Ayamonte coast, not far from the city of Huelva, on Dec. 5. All six occupants on board were arrested, notes a translated statement from police.

  1. FILE: Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, Atlantic Area Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, speaks to the media near the Cutter James about the drugs offloaded at Port Everglades on Aug. 05, 2021 in Port Everglades, Fla. /

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  2. Police officers unload from a truck packages containing drugs before destroying them on February 23, 2010 in Gonesse, a suburb of Paris. Seven tons of cannabis were seized by French police on January 31, 2010 and seven people were arrested after an investigation between Morocco and Spain.

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When those involved in the illegal operation noticed the authorities, the police report “they tried to flee in a semi-rigid boat, throwing the hashish,” into the water.

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The chase kicked off after two agents saw two people in a boat somewhere between Ayamonte and Isla Cristina. After following up, the agents witnessed the boat approaching a semi-rigid, 12-metre-long boat with three engines.

“Given the possibility of being a drug trans-shipment on the high seas,” the statement notes, the agents opted for the timely and direct approach.

Seeing the police, the two boarded the semi-rigid boat. All six people on board that boat ignored the repeated demands and signals of the agents and, instead, tried to flee the scene.

As the agents pursued the six people in the semi-rigid boat, which constantly maneuvered to evade the police, the officers could see some of the crew begin “to throw bales of hashish and fuel pouches into the sea,” the police report.

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The suspected smugglers may have thought that by reducing fuel weight, the lighter boat could move faster.

The pursued individuals eventually stopped the evasion techniques, complied with agent demands and shut down the boat engines. With assistance from the Portuguese authorities, the agents then caught up with the boat, boarded the vessel and arrested the six occupants before bringing them ashore.

Ultimately, the police seized about 2.5 tons of hashish following the incident.

A video of the pursuit shows rough waters and both the police and pursued vehicle being tossed about. It also shows rectangular bales of the suspected drugs floating on the water after being tossed from the boat by men surrounded by many more bales inside the vessel.

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At one point, the video shows one agent’s outstretched hand with a firearm, vigorously signalling for the boat to stop.

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That’s enough for the six onboard, who then stop pitching the pot and gather together at the bow of the boat with their hands placed behind their heads.

This past spring, Spanish police reported that 100 members of a gang had been arrested after they were found to be ferrying hashish and cannabis from Morocco to Spain in speedboats, Reuters reported at the time.

The police statement makes no mention of charges against the six smugglers who were arrested. It also does not specify the estimated value of the hash.

In early 2020 in France, when pandemic-related lockdowns were in full force in some parts of Europe, Reuters cited a police officer who reported that “the price of a 100-gram bar of resin went from 280 euros to 500 euros in a week in Marseille.”

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Figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for 2019 indicated the typical street price for hash in France was about €7 ($9.94) per gram, €5.68 ($8.07) in Spain and €2.68 ($3.81) in Portugal.

With regard to cannabis use in Spain, “cannabis cultivation for research, medical and scientific purposes is prohibited unless authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices,” according to legal firm CMS.

With regard to recreational use, cannabis has been decriminalized for personal use. It can be used, but only in private spaces, adds SpainWeedGuide.

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