A ton of hidden cocaine was seized on a modern sailboat boarded in the middle of the Atlantic

To access the merchandise, it was necessary to fracture the walls of the ship’s hull to locate the 1,018 packages of one kilogram of cocaine hydrochloride hidden in an undetectable place with a simple inspection

Through a device carried out at sea and on land, the three crew members of the boat and five other people living in Malaga towns have been arrested, including the leaders of the group.

The boarding carried out has been extremely dangerous for the officers, since the competition boat of 18 meters in length and five in beam, valued at one million euros, reaches speeds of more than twenty knots

The crew was made up of experts in skipping modern competition sailboats, who registered the boats in regattas in order to be able to discreetly transport large quantities of narcotic substances from South America to Europe.

07/26/21

Agents of the National Police, in a joint operation with the Tax Agency, and in collaboration with the British NCA and the French NRED, have intervened a ton of hidden cocaine in a modern sailboat boarded by the GEO and Customs Surveillance in the middle of the Atlantic. It is the second drug trafficking organization dismantled in the province of Malaga in less than a month.

To access the merchandise, it was necessary to fracture the walls of the ship’s hull, to locate the 1,018 one-kilogram packages of cocaine hydrochloride hidden in an undetectable place with a simple inspection. Through a device carried out at sea and on land, the three crew members of the boat and five other people living in different towns in Malaga, among which are the leaders of the group, have been arrested. The boarding carried out has entailed an extraordinary danger for the agents, since the competition boat, 18 meters long and five meters wide, valued at one million euros, reaches speeds of over 20 knots. The crew was made up of experts in skipping modern competition sailboats, who registered the boats in regattas to, thus, to be able to discreetly transport large quantities of narcotic substances from South America to Europe. The investigation has been coordinated by the Court of Instruction number 2 of Arrecife, in Lanzarote.

The investigation began at the end of 2020 as a result of the intelligence work carried out around port infrastructures, and with which several European citizens were discovered, located in various towns of Malaga and the Levant, linked to maritime transport. of cocaine through boats. Shortly after, the existence of a criminal organization of drug traffickers specialized in the transport of narcotic substances from South America to Spain was confirmed by means of modern racing sailboats. For this, the group had expert skippers and sailors settled in Spain and specialized in navigating this class of vessels, who had a long criminal record in this activity. To justify travel

International police collaboration due to its frequent roaming

Later in the investigation, the agents had the collaboration of the British NCA and the French NRED because the members of the organization traveled regularly between the United Kingdom, Alicante, Malaga and Caribbean islands such as Martinique and Saint Lucia. This frequent roaming of the organization complicated the investigative work of the Spanish agents and their international counterparts. 

With all this information, the researchers made a device at sea and on land to achieve the total dismantling of the organization, given that it had ships that require the government of navigation experts. The boarded vessel is 18 meters long and five meters wide, and can reach a speed of more than 20 knots. In this way, the boarding was carried out in the Atlantic Ocean by agents of the Special Operations Group (GEO) and Customs Surveillance officials of the Tax Agency, who faced an extremely dangerous intervention that ended successfully with the arrest of the three crew members and the intervention of a ton of cocaine hidden inside the hull. The merchandise, up to 1,018 packages of a kilogram of cocaine hydrochloride,

Days later, another five people were arrested in the province of Malaga and different searches were made, where ten kilograms of ketamine, 65,000 euros in cash, three high-end vehicles, various documentation related to money laundering, mobile phones, were intervened. computers and electronic and communication equipment. In addition, accounts have been blocked and a ban on the sale of various properties worth 500,000 euros has been ordered. Likewise, during the searches, documentation was found that evidenced the availability of various boats, as well as the acquisition of spare parts and pieces thereof, nautical clothing with inscriptions of the boat and inscriptions of the sailboat in regattas. 

Two organizations dismantled in less than three weeks

Thanks to this operation, the National Police and the Tax Agency have managed to dismantle a second British criminal organization in the province of Malaga in less than three weeks, after the operation carried out with the boarding of the sailboat ‘Windwishper’, carried out by National Police agents and Customs Surveillance officials aboard the special operations ship ‘Fulmar’ of the Tax Agency, in which almost 1,000 kilos of cocaine were seized. This is the result of more than a year and a half of investigations on the individuals who carried out the transports, but also on the investors, financiers and those responsible for the acquisition of the narcotic substance, who did not hesitate to carry out some transports of hashish while preparing significant cocaine transport operations.