Twelve tonnes of hashish seized in a fishing vessel intercepted in the Atlantic ocean

In a combined operation between the Tax Agency and the National Police.

    • The fishing vessel was boarded by the patrol boat ‘Gerifalte’ in adverse weather conditions, with waves of up to 5 metres high and strong winds
    • The 13 members of the crew were arrested, all of Moroccan nationality

25 January 2018.- Tax Agency, in collaboration with the National Police, intercepted a fishing boat yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean transporting almost 12 tonnes of hashish. The vessel was boarded by the patrol boat "Gerifalte” of the Tax Agency Customs Surveillance at 130 nautical miles to the southwest of Cádiz, in adverse weather conditions, with waves of up to 5 metres high and strong winds. The 13 crew members were arrested, all of Moroccan nationality.

The operation, named ‘Canelas’’, was launched thanks to reports that an organisation was preparing a hashish trafficking operation using a fishing vessel, in an area situated about 70 miles from the coast of Kenitra, Morocco.

Using air and marine craft, the Tax Agency Customs Surveillance body detected a small fishing vessel which had stopped and was not carrying out any type of fishing activity. Acting on this information, the Tax Agency patrol ship ‘Gerifalte’, based in Cádiz, sailed to the area. The patrol ship travelled 140 miles from its base, reaching the limit of its jurisdiction.

Boarding in adverse weather conditions

Once the fishing vessel had been located and after requesting authorisation from Morocco, the flag state, the patrol ship approached and boarded the vessel. The interception of the vessel took place in adverse weather conditions, with waves of up to 5 metres high and gale force winds, making it an operation of extreme difficulty.

Once on board, customs agents discovered bundles of the type commonly used to transport hashish which, without an official count, could contain nearly 12,000 kilos.

The thirteen crew members were arrested, and the vessel and goods were seized for their transfer to the port of Cádiz.

The persons under arrest, the ship and the drugs were handed over to the competent court.